In a resounding show of support from 1st District Democratic primary voters, Congressman David Cicilline swamped businessman Anthony Gemma to win renomination, establishing a strong foundation for a general election showdown against Republican Brendan Doherty, of Cumberland, the former state police superintendent.
There is only one Rhode Island primary election tomorrow (Tuesday Sept. 11) that is being watched from Woonsocket to Washington, D.C. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay brings you the first district Democratic donnybrook.
The 1st District U.S. House primary joust between Democratic David Cicilline and Anthony Gemma has been in-your-face nasty, as rough as it gets in a little state known for big political fights.
Republican CD1 candidate Brendan Doherty is getting a jump start before next Tuesday’s Democratic primary skirmish between David Cicilline and Anthony Gemma. He’s holding a news conference tomorrow to latch onto a populist issue:
Take your pick: Last night’s televised WPRI debate between 1st Congressional District Democratic candidates, U.S. Rep. David Cicilline and challenger Anthony Gemma was A) a reality TeeVee show disguised as political dialogue, B) a Saturday Night Live parody of a congressional debate or C) both.
We will choose C, but only because the scene, as watched on television, contained elements of farce and the repellent nastiness that too often infects political theater these days.
Joseph Lazzerini, who says he was Anthony Gemma’s field director and a paid staffer until he quit August 8, says in a statement released moments ago that he left the campaign because of a homophobic atmosphere at the Gemma campaign office.
Lazzerini, formerly of Providence, says he now lives in South Attleboro.
His statement reads:
“I’ve been following the unfortunate events that unfolded today between the Gemma campaign and the Democratic Party of Rhode Island. As a former Gemma campaign staffer, I felt it was important to issue the following statement:’’
Incumbent Democratic Congressman David Cicilline holds a double-digit lead over his primary opponent, businessman Anthony Gemma, according to a WPRI-Channel 12 public opinion survey released tonight.
The survey of 302 registered voters in the First Congressional District shows Cicilline with 43 percent, Gemma at 31 percent, about 20 percent undecided and 4 percent supporting perennial candidate Christopher Young. A similar Channel 12 poll in May gave Cicilline a 4 point lead over Gemma.
UPDATE: The Associated Press is reporting that Gemma has dismissed Sionni from the campaign. A Gemma spokesman called Sionni’s Twitter comments “inappropriate” and said Sionni, who was not paid, would no longer be working on Gemma’s campaign.