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Rhode Island Tip Sheet: Logjam in Warwick

December 20, 2011

STATE OF THE STATE: Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian, as we’ve noted before, is the Mr. Patient of Rhode Island politics. So don’t expect the Washington Post’s mention of him today as a potential challenger next year to Jim Langevin to light a fire in the mayor’s office at Warwick City Hall (Allan Fung also gets a mention). Avedisian decided not go after Senator Sheldon Whitehouse next year, and despite periodic rumors, it’s anyone’s guess when he’ll choose a different course. But there would be a lot of interest if Avedisian decided against seeking reelection. The potential candidates could include:

— Warwick Councilor Joseph Solomon (a first cousin of Providence City Council President Michael Solomon). “It is something that we are studying,” Joseph Solomon says of a possible run for mayor in 2012.

— State Representative Joseph Trillo, the minority whip in the House;

— Senate Judiciary Chairman Michael McCaffrey, the son of a former mayor and someone who has assembled a big war chest;

— State Representative Joseph McNamara, and; 

— State Senator Erin Lynch.

As it stands, Avedisian has fairly modest $57,314 in his campaign account, as of his last filing, and he’s reportedly not held a fundraiser in a while. Observers might not want to read too much into that, though, since the mayor usually mobilizes once he’s publicly announced a decision. In characteristic fashion, Avedisian told me yesterday he hasn’t yet made any decision about 2012, because he’s focused on other issues in Warwick. He did say, though, that’s he’s no less likely to seek reelection than in the past.

REDISTRICTING: The Fix thinks Plan F will deep-six GOP aspirations in CD1.

CHAFEE: One-time rival George Zainyeh is set to join the Chafee administration, replacing chief of staff Patrick Rogers, as of January 13.

PUBLIC RECORDS: If you want to get Tim White going, ask him about the many shortcomings of the state’s public records law. Here’s his latest riff on the subject.

RI GOP: The election to succeed Ken McKay as state party chairman is on for 7 pm Wednesday at the Shriners Hall in Cranston. Tina McKendall has emerged to battle for the post with Mark Zaccaria and Raymond McKay.

BIRTHDAY: Patrick Rogers; Allison Rogers.

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