Congressman David Cicilline enjoyed a larger-than-expected victory over Republican challenger Brendan Doherty yesterday by improving his performance from 2010 in seven communities.

Cicilline won the race by slightly more than 12 points (53.1 percent vs 40.7 percent).

The results are surprising since Doherty learned some of the lessons from John Loughlin’s losing 2010 campaign, particularly the need to aggressively raise money, and because Cicilline has been buffeted by a large measure of unflattering local headlines since he landed in Congress.

More than one-quarter of voters taking part in the September 11 state Senate Democratic primary election between Gayle Goldin and Maryellen Butke skipped the chance to vote for House Speaker Gordon Fox, according to an RIPR analysis.

On a 3-2 decision, the Rhode Island Supreme Court has denied Carlos Tobon’s call for a manual recount following his controversial and contested one-vote loss to state Representative William San Bento of Pawtucket.

The s0-called “Butterfly ballot” during the 2000 presidential election stands as the classic high-stakes example of voters being confused by a less-than-clear ballot. Marcia Lausen – speaking at 8 tonight at the RISD Auditorium — was involved in the aftermath:

As reported earlier, state Representative Jon Brien hopes to avoid the usual losing fate of candidates who’ve waged write-in campaigns for the General Assembly.

Chris Barnett, the spokesman for Secretary of State Ralph Mollis, says the last successful legislative write-in came in House District 69, the seat now held by Representative Ray Gallison of Bristol.

WOONSOCKET – State Representative Jon Brien, upset by Democrat Stephen Casey in the September 11 primary, was unable to provide an answer this morning when asked to cite the last successful write-in candidate for

The Providence Journal remains the best-staffed local news organization when it comes to covering the Statehouse. But there’s nothing quite like subjecting lawmakers (and their would-be successors) to tough questions and the unblinking eye of a TV camera.