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Loughlin fundraiser Sunday marks new phase in CD1 GOP primary

September 23, 2011

Things have been pretty quiet of late concerning the Republican primary in the First Congressional District between John Loughlin and Brendan Doherty. But look for that to change, starting with Loughlin’s marquee fundraiser (more on that at the end of this post) this weekend.

In particular, two questions bear watching:

— Loughlin appears to have some strong support from the GOP grassroots, but can he raise enough money to compete  effectively against the better-funded Doherty? The situation isn’t helped by how Loughin isn’t expected to return from Iraq until December. And some parts of his campaign Web site haven’t bene updated in almost a year. 

— Doherty has proven his ability to raise money, but can he run a winning campaign while transitioning from state police superintendent to political candidate? As of September 12, Doherty had not had a chance to meet with House Minority Leader Brian Newberry, the keynoter for Loughlin’s event. That’s fairly striking, given Newberry’s place as one of the few prominent elected Republicans in the state (and how he represents a part of the state not far from Doherty’s home in Cumberland). Spokesman Dante Bellini says the Doherty campaign plans to meet with party leaders and staff up in the months ahead.

One wild card in all of this is whether the conservative element of the state GOP succeeds in closing primary voting to only Republicans. Such a move would be a tremendous boost for Loughlin.

Anyway, here are the details on Loughlin’s fundrasier this weekend:

DATE: Sunday, September 25, 2011 TIME: 5:00pm-8:00pm
LOCATION: Santa Maria Cultural Center, 846 Broadway, East Providence, RI 02914

Sue Loughlin is listed as the host for the event.  Also slated to talk, besides Newberry, are Representatives Doreen Costa and Dan Reilly; Senators Christopher Ottiano and Frank Maher; Mark Smiley, chairman of the Chairmans’ Caucus; and RIRA president Ray McKay.

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