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Loughlin drops out of CD1 race, clears GOP path for Doherty

January 11, 2012

John Loughlin, who offered a tough challenge to David Cicilline for the open First Congressional District seat in 2010 [left], has dropped out of the 2012 race, clearing the GOP field for the other Republican candidate, former state police superintendent Brendan Doherty.

Doherty closed out 2011 with a war chest in the range of $500,000, and Loughlin (with less than $15,000 on hand) was handicapped in the money war by his absence from Rhode Island for a large part of last year. While Loughlin attracted strong support among Republican activists, other observers questioned whether his fundraising disadvantage would lead him to end his campaign before it really began.

Loughlin, a former state rep from Tiverton, issued this statement this morning:

Two years ago, when I ran for Congress, I said: “The City of Providence is bankrupt and hat you (David Cicilline) are deliberately hiding this fact from the people of Rhode Island. I am concerned that for political reasons your campaign for Congress is causing you to act in such a way as to conceal the budget problems facing the city of Providence, making them worse in the process.”

I believe its time to hold David Cicciline accountable not just for the mess he left in Providence, but for the more than $300,000 dollars in taxpayer money we paid him to sit in Washington to deliver nothing but more partisan rhetoric, gridlock and empty campaign promises. In fact, I believe that the number one task facing Rhode Islanders voters in the coming election year is to hold all our politicians accountable.

While I had intended to begin my campaign for Congress upon my return from Iraq, it has become abundantly clear to me that the best way for the Rhode Island Republicans to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory is to conduct a long and divisive primary election in RI-01. I will, therefore, not seek the nomination of my party for Congress. I will have no part in any activity that would enable David Cicciline to remain my Congressman.

My bid for Congress was motivated by a desire for service, not the desire for a new title. I have a long history of service both politically and in the military – in short, I wasn’t running to “be” a Congressman, I was running to fix our state and strengthen our Nation.

I want to publicly thank Mike Napolitano, Eileen Grossman and Scott Morrison for keeping the political flame burning while I was serving in Iraq.

I also want to thank the many prominent Republicans who endorsed my campaign, especially Leader Newberry and his colleagues in the Rhode Island House and Senate. In addition, I want to thank those prominent Republicans who withheld any endorsement until I returned from Iraq and could at least respond, most notably Administrator Almond, Mayor Fontaine, Mayor Fung, Mayor Avedisian, and National Committeeman Joseph Trillo. Their loyalty means a great deal to me and meant a great deal to my family while I was deployed.

Thank you also to the many supporters who have also stayed loyal to me as well. In particular the many Town Republican Chairmen and women who recognize that the way
to build a party is to reward hard work and stand with those who have worked shoulder to shoulder with them to save our state. Too often Republicans as a party, trivialize loyalty, dedication to service, and party building.

I want to thank my family who dealt with running the household while I was running for office and later while deployed to Iraq. They supported me, literally, in war and peace.

Most importantly, I want to thank the people of Rhode Island for their support and their belief that we must return accountable government to our state. While I don’t know what the future will hold, I know that together we can turn our state around and create the kind of Rhode Island for our children that will make them proud of our service together.

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