Lawmaker: the General Assembly’s dividing line is “adults and children”
As one of just eight Republicans in the 38-member state Senate, Dawson Hodgson of North Kingstown is part of a very small club. His political profile becomes even more exotic considering his self-description as a centrist who backs abortion rights and same-sex marriage.
Hodgson, a former state prosecutor, is also quite frank, as he made clear during a taping yesterday of RIPR’s Political Roundtable.
His most memorable comment came when panelist Maureen Moakley asked whether Democratic support for pension reform and the like will set back efforts to increase Republican representation at the General Assembly.
It’s been my experience in my brief time in the building that the dividing line up there is not Republicans and Democrats; it’s adults and children.
It’s people that are willing to make tough decisions and frankly, be willing to lose their office. The only election I really cared about winning was my first one. This one, if I were to go down for something I stood for that would be a badge of honor for me.
I’d like to see good people — I don’t care what party they run on. I hope they run as Republicans to bring a balance and have an identifiable alternative version of leadership, because when you’re in such a monolithic organization — but there’s such a diversity of opinion there — how do you know what each label stands for?
The Republican Party is not the answer. The Democratic Party sure is not the answer. It’s good people running for office. And Republican officeholders, I think, need to go out and support people willing to run on the Republican ticket.
An intra-party split between conservative and moderate factions has hurt the RI GOP for years. Putting Hodgson’s prescription into practice is easier said than done. But local Republicans might find more electoral success if they emulate his mix of fiscal conservatism and moderate stances on social issues.