Zaccaria Unveils Republican Challenge to Jack Reed

Jul 7, 2014

Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Republican Mark Zaccaria, a former state GOP chairman who ran unsuccessfully against US Representative Jim Langevin in 2008 and 2010, on Monday unveiled his challenge against US Senator Jack Reed.

Although Republicans hope to gain control of the US Senate, Reed's seat is considered among the safest in the chamber.

Zaccaria small businessman from North Kingstown, nonetheless said it's important for the incumbent to have an opponent, both because of their policy differences and so that voters can have a choice.

Zaccaria, 65, launched into his campaign announcement at The American restaurant in Providence by describing himself as "an angry young Rhode Islander. I am furious. I see the disconnect between government, especially at the federal and state levels, and the people that government is supposed to serve and it frosts me a little bit."

Zaccaria accused Reed and other Democrats of ignoring their constituents, ignoring the law, and working against consensus. He rejected the idea that Reed's traditionally high approval rating shows the senator is more in line with Rhode Islanders' political views.

“I believe that the comparisons that put him there in that vaunted position are comparisons against his peers in the congressional delegation," Zaccaria said. "People now need to look at their own pocketbooks and decide what they need and get someone to help them do that.”

The Republican challenger argued Democratic policies have been detrimental for the economy and foreign policy. "These colors still do not run, but they are fading," Zaccaria said, referring to a nearby American flag.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Allan Fung, state party chairman Mark Smiley, CD2 canidate Rhue Reis and CD1 candidate Cormick Lynch were among those on hand for the event.

Zaccaria served on the North Kingstown Town Council from 2004 to 2006. He says he hopes to raise a few hundred thousand dollars in his run against Reed.