On Politics
1:00 am
Fri November 16, 2012

Loughlin says he’s not qualified to pursue the RI GOP chairmanship

John Loughlin, one of the Rhode Island GOP’s strongest voices, says he doesn’t intend to seek the chairmanship of the state Republican Party.

The current chairman, Mark Zaccaria, plans to give up the post early next year, according to Anchor Rising’s Monique Chartier.

In 2010, Loughlin came closer to beating David Cicilline for Congresss (six points) than Brendan Doherty (12 points) during this presidential year. The former three-term state rep continues to operate his own media production company and sometimes puts his strong communication skills to work as a guest host on WPRO-AM. But Loughlin, via e-mail, says he’s not qualified to succeed Zaccaria:

“I believe that in order to qualify for the chairmanship of the RI GOP, your top resume achievement must not be that you lost a high-profile race. The RI GOP has lost too many races and therefore we need people who know how to win to lead the party. What message does it send when we pick a high-profile loser and ask them to lead the party!

“Based on that test, I am not qualified.”

The RI GOP chairman with the best political resume in recent history, Ken McKay, left for a Washington job in 2011 after a brief tenure. McKay was succeeded by Zaccaria, who lost two congressional runs against Jim Langevin. McKay’s predecessor, Gio Cicione, was part of Doherty’s campaign team. And Cicione’s predecessor, Patricia Morgan, is now one of the 11 GOP lawmakers who will be part of the new legislative session.

MORE: Dan McGowan tweets that former state GOP executive director Patrick Sweeney, fresh from running Barry Hinckley’s Senate run, isn’t ruling out a run for GOP chair. Dee DeQuattro reports that Providence GOP chair Tara Pinsky and RIRA head Ray McKay could be in the mix.The next chair will be chosen in March 2013.

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