Providence Mayor David Cicilline bucked a sweeping nationwide Republican trend Tuesday to narrowly win the 1st Congressional District seat being vacated by Patrick Kennedy,
In besting a surprisingly strong showing by Republican John Loughlin, 51 to 45, Cicilline becomes the first mayor of Providence to successfully win higher office since Dennis J. Roberts was elected governor in 1950. Also seeking the seat were Independents Kenneth Capalbo, who got 4 percent of the vote and Gregory Raposa, who picked up less than 1 percent,
â€śI ran for Congress because, like so many of you, I believe that Washington is really broken and doesnâ€™t understand what is happening in this country,â€ť Cicilline told a cheering crowd of Democrats at the Biltmore Hotel in Providence.
â€śThis campaign has been about one commitment,â€ť Cicilline added, getting Rhode Islanders back to work and figure out how to rebuild the infrastructure of this country and again start to make things here in
America by investing in manufacturing, understanding the urgency of developing and producing clean energy and making the right choices to protect the hard-working middle-class that has been forgotten by Washington.â€ť
â€śI made one promise in this campaign and I make one promise tonight,â€ť he said. â€śI will go to Washington and fight hard every single day and deliver real results for Rhode Island.â€ť
Loughlin thanked Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, â€śwho headlined events for us not once, but twice and provided a boost for me when I needed it most. His roadmap for capturing the second-to-last Kennedy seat has been a model for our effort.â€ť Brown won a special election to succeed the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, Patrickâ€™s father.
The race played out similarly to many Congressional contests across the country, with the Democrat, Cicilline, accusing the Republican, Loughlin, of wanting to privatize Social Security and Loughlin firing back that Cicilline is a tax-and-spend proponent willing to follow the liberal agenda of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Loughlin cried foul about Cicillineâ€™s attacks on Social Security, accusing the Democrat of â€śscaring seniors.â€ť He maintained that runaway federal spending by Democrats is what is putting Social Security at risk. He admitted once referring to Social Security as a â€śPonzi scheme,â€ť but later backed away from that statement, calling it â€śhyperbole.â€ť
The two also disagreed about global warming.
Cicilline sees it as a man-made threat and called for green technology jobs to reduce the use of fossil fuels. Loughlin acknowledges that the planet is warming but questioned whether human activity is causing the problem