david cicilline

Republican congressional candidate Brendan Doherty launched his air war today, using an introductory-style commercial to tout himself as a tough crime-fighter who can bring common sense to Washington.

David Cicilline is 10 years older and carries the wear-and-tear of much more political mileage than when he emerged in a four-way 2002 Democratic primary as the new sensation of Providence politics. Yet Cicilline – battered by harsh headlines since not long after taking his congressional seat in January 2011 — seemed just as affirmed by his decisive victory tonight over businessman Anthony Gemma (62 to 31 percent, in unofficial results).

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.

UPDATE: Hyers responds; says Doherty resorting to “vicious and personal attacks”

Here’s the entire response from Cicilline campaign manager Eric Hyers to the Doherty news release outlined below:

 As he tries to land a seat in Congress, Brendan Doherty needs to convince voters he’s a Republican in the moderate mold of John Chafee, Ron Machtley, and Claudine Schneider  – not such conservatives as John Boehner, Paul Ryan, and Eric Cantor.

Here’s a look at where the CD1 campaigns will be Tuesday night:

David Cicilline:

U.S. Congressman David Cicilline will join supporters for a primary night watch party at Blaze Restaurant, 776 Hope Street in Providence. Doors will open at 8:00 PM. 

Brendan Doherty:

Watch the reporting of the official Primary Results with Brendan Doherty 

7:30pm – 10:00pm

Le Foyer

A few things to watch for tomorrow:

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.

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.

Former 1st District Rep. Patrick Kennedy will campaign with Congressman David Cicilline in the run up to the Sept. 11th Democratic primary for U.S. House in the 1st District.

Kennedy will join Cicilline on the campaign circuit the week of Sept. 9th.  “I’ve known David Cicilline for years and I am incredibly proud of the work that he has already done since we sent him to serve in Congress,’’ Kennedy said in a statement. “No one has been working harder than David to get our state back on the right track and put Rhode Islanders back to work.

Do Rhode Islanders have an unquenchable thirst for campaign nuttiness? From the reaction of   both mainstream media and talk show wacko world to Anthony Gemma’s latest skewed salvo, one might think so.

The talk show babblers are in full throat. The ProJo’s front page Thursday morning ran Gemma’s nonsense as if WW III was imminent. Practically the entire city room was assigned a piece of the story. In the end, the article did very little to advance the issue.

Readers knew no more about the Gemma allegations Thursday morning than they did Wednesday afternoon.

Democratic Congressional candidate Anthony Gemma says there is widespread voter fraud in Providence. RIPR’s Scott MacKay reminds us that such allegations aren’t new in Rhode Island.

Charges of voter suppression, chicanery and outright bribery are as Rhode Island as frozen lemonade, quahogs and Narragansett Bay.

Our state’s long and florid political history is salted with jousts over who should be allowed to vote, whose votes count the most and campaign tactics straight from the underside of   the Tammany-Hall genre of electioneering.

While Anthony Gemma used gobs of free media Wednesday on voter fraud allegations that may or may not have credence, incumbent Congressman David Cicilline is hewing to traditional Democratic campaign themes in the run up to next month’s primary for the party’s nomination for U.S. Rep. in the First Congressional District.

In campaign direct mail, Cicilline is courting women voters and taking aim at Gemma’s anti-abortion comments in an interview on a local radio talk show. Gemma called himself “pro-life’’ in an appearance on the Helen Glover program in April.

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