Former state representative John Loughlin, who ran a spirited GOP campaign against David Cicilline in 2010 (see photo at left), says the RI GOP has to be more moderate to succeed in Rhode Island.
“I think clearly the Rhode Island Republican Party needs to be become more inclusive of more moderate voices within the party,” Loughlin said today during a taping of RIPR’s Political Roundtable.
“If in fact the Rhode Island Republican Party was inclusive to moderate voices, then the day after Election Day, we would be congratulating the new Senator-elect, Scott Avedisian.
” However, Scott Avedisian can’t win a Rhode Island Republican primary, because of the ring-wing elements that have kind of co-opted the party. So I think the party really needs to reassess who it is, where it’s going, and include more moderate voices, frankly.”
The number of Republicans in the General Assembly was cut through last week’s election to 11 (six in the House, and five in the Senate) from a previous total of 18 (10 in the House and eight in the Senate). The RI GOP used a “Strike Force” concept and focused on a smaller crop of candidates than in the past
Loughlin served three terms in the House as a rep from Tiverton and gave up the seat to run for Congress, losing to Cicilline by six points in 2010. He says legislative Democrats offer an instructive example of how to accomodate a range of views in one party:
“On the one hand, you have Representative [Arthur] Corvese, from North Providence, who is conservative, pro-life; he’s a Republican in any other state except Rhode Island.
“On the other hand, you have Edie Ajello from Providence, who’s the opposite [liberal] dynamic. The Democratic Party in Rhode Island is a party that welcomes both, and both are able to thrive within that framework.”
Political Roundtable can be heard Friday at 5:40 and 7:40 am. Loughlin also joined us for Bonus Q+A, which airs Friday at 6:40 and 8:40 am.