RI Political Earthquake: Rep. Patrick Kennedy Not Running for Re-election?


Shocking news from WRNI that Congressman Kennedy will not be seeking re-election.

Who’s going to run for the open seat?

Congress: “They’re in”

Congress: “They’re seriously considering it.”

  • Rep. David Segal – Young, aggressive, progressive with a broad base of support.  Can run as the outsider and the reformer.
  • Donna Nesselbush – Private practice attorney, municipal judge in Pawtucket and former executive director of the RI Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
  • Mayor Dan McKee – A source close to McKee tells me that the Cumberland Mayor is leaning toward running as people he trusts have gamed out a path to victory that’s convincing to him. He’s heading to D.C. early next week to discuss national fundraising through the Democrats for Education Reform network. McKee’s previous comments about running to the Journal are here.
  • Rep. Jon Brien – DINO and worst candidate of the bunch.

Congress: They’re Out

  • Former Rep. Bob Weygand – former Congressman and URI executive.
  • Councilman Seth Yurdin – Progressive elected official with a base on Providence’s East Side.
  • State Sen. Josh Miller – small business owner and environmental champion.  Could raise money quickly.
  • Rep. Edith Ajello – represents powerful East Side.
  • Former State Sen. Myrth York – Money and name recognition.
  • Jeremy Kapstein – senior adviser to the Red Sox has been making waves lately about running for office in RI.
  • Joseph Amaral – former hospital executive.
  • Former Lt. Gov. Charlie Fogarty – former lt. governor and 2006 democratic gubernatorial nominee.  lots of name recognition.
  • Ari Matusiak – Housing and health care advocate; ran statewide housing ballot initiative; ability to raise fast money.
  • Guillaume de Ramel – unsuccessful Secretary of State candidate in 2006, but got a large number of votes.
  • Nicholas Pell – grandson of Claiborne Pell.  His comments about running are here. He issued a statement on 2/23 that he is not running.
  • Rep. Ed Pacheco – young, aggressive progressive who has proven he can win over conservative voters in Burrillville.  His comments about running to the Journal are here. He issued a statement on 2/22 that he is not running.
  • Sen. Teresa Paiva-Weed – it would be skeptical that the Senate President would give up her job to run in a primary for Congress, but she certainly has name recognition and the ability to raise money. More here.
  • Sec. of State Ralph Mollis – current Secretary of State considering a look at Congress.
  • Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts – with Emily’s list, could win a divided primary.
  • Former Rep. Betsy Dennigan (already has a federal account) – moved from CD1 to CD2 to run against Langevin.  Does she move back? She emailed me and said shes in it to win it in CD=2.
  • Treasurer Frank Caprio – A Caprio campaign spokesperson called and said that there is no chance that Caprio will be running for Congress — he is running for Governor.
  • Attorney General Patrick Lynch – A Lynch campaign spokesperson writes and says to take Lynch’s name off the list because he is “definitely running for Governor.”
  • Gina Raimondo – currently running for Treasurer, but could raise fast money for Congressional bid. She’s definitely running for Treasurer.
  • Kate Coyne-McCoy – In CD-2. She’s staying at EM.


and, even with the candidacy of Republican John Loughlin already announced, watch out for the entrance of conservative Republican former US Senate…

  • Former Cranston Mayor Steve Laffey
Providence Mayor: Names in the Rumor Mill
  • Angel Taveras – has a great story: from Head Start to Harvard.  Ran for Congress in 2000 in his first election bid and won an impressive number of votes.  Can build the East Side / South Side coalition that Cicilline used to win in 2002.
  • Myrth York – need I say more?
  • Rep. Steve Costantino – currently House finance chair, looking at a run for Treasurer; might instead look to Congress or Mayor (if Cicilline runs).
  • Rep. David Segal – young, aggressive, progressive with a broad base of support.
  • Councilman Michael Solomon – represents large turnout Ward 5; small business owner.
  • Sen. Juan Pichardo – has mayoral ambitions.
  • Councilman John Lombardi – already has a website up and running.  Only 50k in the bank though.
  • John Kelly – ran and lost in the HD-10 special election to Scott Slater.
  • Andrew Annaldo – the current Board of Licenses chairman is rumored to be thinking about putting a significant amount of money into the race.
  • Ari Matusiak – Housing and health care advocate; ran statewide housing ballot initiative; ability to raise fast money.
  • Councilman Terry Hassett – Smith Hill councilman and current majority leader.
Note that candidates are unable to transfer (possible large amounts of) money from their state campaign account to a federal campaign account.

Click here to see the video that Congressman Kennedy sent out to his email list.

The following is Congressman Jim Langevin‘s statement:

“Patrick Kennedy is a dear friend and colleague whom I have been proud to work with for many years, since we were first elected together in 1988. From our days in the General Assembly to our years in the halls of Congress, it has been an honor to work with him on behalf of the people of Rhode Island.

“Patrick is a true public servant and passionate fighter who made a real difference for the people of our great state. As with all things, there is a beginning and an end.  I wish him well as he takes on a new beginning in his life. I will miss advocating for Rhode Island with him in the United States Congress, but I know he will continue to serve our nation as he has for two decades.”

And click here to read Mark Arsenault’s exclusive interview with Congressman Kennedy in RI Monthly explaining his decision.


16 responses to “RI Political Earthquake: Rep. Patrick Kennedy Not Running for Re-election?

  1. Great News, i think is time for change, we need new people who can really do something for RI. I think Rep. Pacheco Will Do Just That, He is a Great Guy And one of the few with a Cristal Clear Background. Go Pep. Pacheco

  2. I would put Weygand on that list. He has alot of contacts in the House still and could raise alot of money quickly.

  3. Could certainly support LOUGHLIN!! Or MAYBE LAFFEY, or Even BRIEN…..There NEEDS to be a changing of the guard in that State House… and this is the year! Bye Bye Patrick…hopefully a few like-minded friends will join you in breaking for the exit!!

  4. Pingback: Contenders, II - Not For Nothing

  5. Anyone thinking about the District 1 Congressional seat still has a long time to make up their minds. Candidates don’t have to make it official until June 28-30, when declarations of candidacy must be filed with Secretary of State Mollis. Earlier this week we released the state’s official 2010 Election Calendar. It outlines everything anyone thinking about running for office should know. Check it out on sos.ri.gov.

  6. doesn’t Buddy Cianci belong on one of these lists? The guy is practically teasing the media and his audience. Not to mention the fact that he was the one that had the story first.

    I know you probably don’t like him too much given his outspoken criticism of Cicilline/Whitehouse/Kennedy et al, but I would think that the man who is still the biggest political name in the state would deserve at least a passing reference. I mean, who the heck is Andrew Annaldo or Ari Matusiak? And does Segal even have a job outside of the state house?

  7. For eight terms, Representative Kennedy has advocated and launched a personal crusade on issues ranging from substance abuse, mental illness and autism. He courageously brought these issues to the forefront of the national agenda and implemented real reform. I wish him well as he takes this fight to the private/ non-profit sectors.

  8. for God;s sake. It is all this corrupted money and inside Washington that has gotten us to this place, and you people want to put more of themthere!!!!. Is getting the pork all you care about???We need fiscal responsibility,selfreservation,smaller government. This comments posted do not give me hope.

  9. OUR FOUNDER was so proud of him.

  10. Why do some people have links and others don’t? Why do only current office holders have their titles. and why does Mollis not have his title in that case. Its your site, so your obvious bias is fine, but at least be a tad intellectually honest.

  11. Frank – I have done my best to fix the titles above. Thanks for noticing this. Best, Matt

  12. An Earth-quake causes heavy loss. Experts call for taking adequate precautions to minimize losses. Alarmed by the recurrence of quakes during recent years, should be taken as a signal for a major earthquake.

  13. Pingback: Cicilline, Bill Lynch vie for Kennedy seat « testRI Democratic party

  14. Pingback: Elizabeth Roberts Declines to Run for Kennedy Congressional Seat « Closing Argument: a blog on truth, justice, the law (and the politics in between)

  15. What a lovely blog page. I’ll certainly be back again. Please hold writing!

  16. Some genuinely nice stuff on this website , I love it.

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