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Caprio’s full court press pays dividends

June 29, 2010

Patrick Lynch is the one-time basketball standout among the two former jocks in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, but Frank Caprio is the one reaping the benefits of his campaign’s  full-court press.

Sure, endorsements don’t mean that much in this day and age. Yet there’s a perceptual advantage in the decisive margin by which Caprio won the party imprimatur. This might have been a surprise months ago, but glimmers of Caprio’s victory emerged last week.

Lynch’s campaign has pressed the issue of Caprio’s fundraising, but that hasn’t gained any real traction. Caprio, meanwhile, has offered a more focused and relentless message.

Caprio has  led the way in fundraising. His campaign publicly flexes its muscle, as with a Roger Williams Park event last week that attracted a crowd of supporters.  And it presses every opportunity — like being the only campaign to have volunteers distribute brochures following the recent Channel 12 debate at URI. 

It helps Caprio, too, that this primary, on the surface at least, hasn’t become the kind of personal grudge match that would benefit Lincoln Chafee’s (as was the case when Richard Licht and Bob Weygand duked it out in 2000).

Caprio repeatedly hedged last week when I asked whether he would criticize an in-law, developer Richard Baccari, for his tactics in pursuing a controversial supermarket project in Cranston. The answer to that question, and to Arlene Violet’s query about in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, led WPRO’s Dan Yorke to take Caprio to task yesterday for lacking clear judgment. But in the larger context of the campaign, these chinks remain just blips on the radar.

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