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Patrick Kennedy to stump for Cicilline

August 27, 2012

Former 1st District Rep. Patrick Kennedy will campaign with Congressman David Cicilline in the run up to the Sept. 11th Democratic primary for U.S. House in the 1st District.

Kennedy will join Cicilline on the campaign circuit the week of Sept. 9th.  “I’ve known David Cicilline for years and I am incredibly proud of the work that he has already done since we sent him to serve in Congress,’’ Kennedy said in a statement. “No one has been working harder than David to get our state back on the right track and put Rhode Islanders back to work.

“In Congress David works hard for his constituents…and has consistently stood up for Rhode Islanders.’’

Kennedy was first elected to the U.S. House seat in the 1st District in 1994 and won consistently every two years by big margins. In 2010, Kennedy decided against running and Cicilline won the open seat.

It is a no-brainer for Cicilline to bring Kennedy in to help. The only downside is the contrast between what the seniority-marinated Kennedy, who sat on the House Appropriations Committee, was able to accomplish for Rhode Island and the slim pickings Cicilline has to show for his single term in a House dominated by conservative Republicans.

Conventional wisdom on the CD 1 race earlier this year had Cicilline holding the seat if he won the Democratic primary. That calculus has largely fallen by the wayside as Republican Brendan Doherty has put together a big time campaign effort, raising far more money than 2010 GOP challenger John Loughlin and working diligently to build an organization.

To win in November, Cicilline may have to run as an underdog, even in this very Democratic district, which was reshaped by the General Assembly in redistricting to help him.

Bedides the obvious questions stemming from his last year as Providence mayor, what is hurting Cicilline are the inroads Doherty has made with old-line Democrats in the Blackstone Valley, the East Bay and in Newport. And, of course, Doherty’s fund-raising and his access to national Republican money. To beat Dohertry, Cicilline is going to need 70 percent of the vote in Providence, which isn’t going to be easy.

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