Eighty years ago, Rhode Island Democrats took over state government with one fell swoop in a coup that became known as the Bloodless Revolution. The event has set the template for Rhode Island politics ever since.
In just 14 minutes at the State House on New Year’s Day, 1935, the Democrats took control of the General Assembly, replaced the entire Rhode Island Supreme Court, consigned to the dustbin of history more than 80 boards and commissions and fired Republican appointees who had run state government forever.
Among the grand ironies of Rhode Island politics is that Providence’s East Side, the neighborhood that vaulted Buddy Cianci into City Hall 40 years ago in his first upset victory for mayor, proved to be the impregnable roadblock to Cianci’s mayoral redemption tour yesterday.
When the returns rolled in last night, it was evident that when the East Side neighborhood votes were tallied, Democrat Jorge Elorza had rolled up such big margins that there was no way Cianci had a chance at an improbable Last Hurrah victory.
At the Democratic victory party at the Providence Biltmore Hotel late last night, no one had a wider smile than Kate Coyne McCoy, the longtime advocate for electing women to political office in Rhode Island and around the nation.
``Twenty years ago, I was walking up the stairs to this room (the 17th floor ballroom, where media and pols meet on election night) with Myrth York,’’ recalled Coyne McCoy. ``It was an awful night.’’
As U.S. Senate returns flow in later this evening from around the nation, the Rhode Island politician with the most at stake is U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, who is expected to coast to reelection.
First elected in 1996 to the seat held for 36 years by the late Claiborne Pell, Democrat Reed has accumulated enough seniority to become chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, a crucial post for Rhode Island’s defense industry and the U.S. Navy installation in Newport that is anchored by the Naval War College.
Latest talk among Democratic operatives: Optimism about Elorza in Providence, worry about Raimondo in governor's race. If she loses there will be lots of second-guessing her general election campaign.
The Rhode Island gubernatorial election between Democrat Gina Raimondo and Republican Allan Fung has become much closer than anyone thought even a month ago. Raimondo’s lackluster general election campaign, which followed a very well done primary effort, is surely part of her problem.
Democrat Gina Raimondo clings to a narrow lead over Republican Allan Fung in Rhode Island’s campaign for governor, according to the latest poll released by Rasmussen Reports, a national pollster. The survey has Raimondo, the state general treasurer, at 42 percent, and Cranston Mayor Fung at 37 percent, with 11 percent preferring another candidate (Bob Healey is the Moderate Party candidate for governor) and 11 percent undecided. The survey of 750 likely Rhode Island voters was taken between September 23 to 25 and carries a margin of sampling error of 4 percent.
During a contentious televised debate last Tuesday, Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Block said he would mold his administration after William Weld, the former Republican Massachusetts governor.
At the same debate, which was held at the Providence Performing Arts Center and broadcast by WPRI-Channel 12, , Cranston Mayor Allan Fung said he would follow the example of former Rhode Island Republican Gov. Lincoln Almond, who, like Weld, was a quintessential New England GOP moderate.
It’s pretty rare for top national Republican figures to visit Rhode Island, one of the nation’s deepest blue Democratic states. But Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus swoops into the Ocean State Thursday to scoop some campaign cash.
Priebus is scheduled to appear at a fund-raising event held by Mr. and Mrs. David Ford on Newport’s tony Bellevue Avenue, where the houses have names. (This mansion is called Miramar, at 646 Bellevue).
Ken Block and Cranston Mayor Allan Fung clashed in their second debate within 24 hours this afternoon, a meeting that produced more heat than enlightenment and revealed few major policy differences between the two candidates vying for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in the September 9 primary.