June 23, 2006

Centracchio Running for GOP LT. Governor Slot

Marc Comtois

Confirming reports from the ProJo 7to7 Blog and NBC10 's Bill Rappleye, Major General Reginald Centracchio, former Adjutant General of the RI National Guard, confirmed that he was entering the GOP primary for Lt. Gov. on the air with Dan Yorke this afternoon. Centracchio had previously said he wasn't going to run. He also told Yorke that he asked the other GOP candidate, Kerry King, to step aside. Apparently King wasn't very happy. (No Kidding!)

Yorke asked Centracchio "who came to you" and asked you to run. Centracchio first said his family and then friends and then stated that no GOP political players had a part. He also said he notified Gov. Almond yesterday.

UPDATE: Yorke spoke with Chuck Newton from the State GOP for reaction. Newton said that he thought it was "terrific" because it energizes all within the party. When asked if the party would ask King to run for General Treasurer instead, Newton said it's possible but no such talks have been held. When pressed, Newton proffered the line that each candidate was his own man. He also implied that some in the GOP were excited by Centracchio's entrance into the race, while others had a different view. In short, he continued to toe the line that it would energize the party. (He also hinted that another Republican would be making a bid against Patrick Kennedy).

UPDATE II: Yorke also spoke to Kerry King. King said he's not bowing out and that he's going to win. He related that he told Centracchio that "You've got to be kidding" when Centracchio called King last week to tell him he was entering the race. King also said that Centracchio told him he had the support of "the Governor." Governor Carcieri called King and told him he had his support. Then Centracchio called King again and said he's out. Then, after this past weekend, rumors began floating that Centracchio was going to jump in after all. King characterized Centracchio's back-and-forth as not showing leadership but opportunism.

Yorke asked King if anyone had asked him to back out from the State GOP or if they had asked him to run for some other office. King said "no."He said that, like Nathanael Greene, he had been keeping his powder dry and that his organization has been out raising money for the stretch run. Now he's ready to fight a tough campaign.

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Centracchio already said he wasn't running, therefore opening the door for King. Now he goes and tries to slam that door in King's face? Maybe Reg shouldn't have been coy about running MONTHS ago?

My vote is for King. Just because I don't like big fish giving the screw job to little fish.

Posted by: Greg at June 23, 2006 3:37 PM

King had his chance to raise money and get out there, but he hasn't done a thing. Also, Centracchio has experience in homeland security, which is about the only thing the Lt. Gov. does anymore. This is good news for the GOP.

Posted by: Anthony at June 23, 2006 4:36 PM


Politics is a tough game. Centracchio is well within his rights to enter any race he is eligible for any time within the legal guidelines.

He's a top shelf candidate and will win hands down.

So much for Mr. King and Ms. Roberts.

I wonder how all this will play out next Thursday night at Rhodes.

J Mahn

Posted by: Joe Mahn at June 23, 2006 5:25 PM

on paper, either guy is very qualified to be lt gov or even gov...but reg has the name recognition and would be a great person on the ticket..but he is really throwing king under the bus...i guess all is fair

Posted by: daveofri at June 23, 2006 6:32 PM

This is an open seat, not one held by a Republican incumbent! How is this throwing King under the bus?

I could see if Reg were running against an incumbent Republican or if the Governor asked him not to run. That might be throwing him under the bus. Kind of like what Laffey did to Chafee....

Posted by: Anthony at June 23, 2006 7:18 PM

I find the whole thing to funny for words. Thank you General.

Posted by: Bobby Oliveira at June 23, 2006 8:13 PM


You're speechless? What were you saying about Reg Centracchio and this rumor yesterday Bobby? I'm beginning to like this move more and more. When party boys like Bobby start feigning to be disinterested or amused by this it doesn't ring true. Reg Centracchio is a far more recognizable and respected face in this state than Liz Roberts and one who may bring back a significant number of those moderate Democratic Italo-American votes to the Republican party not to mention the military vote the police vote the fire vote, etc.
Having heard Centracchio speak about his candidacy I'm much more at ease about his motives and much more supportive of what he's trying to do.
This is a BIG help to the Republican ticket in November. A BIG help and nobody knows that more than our friend Bobby.

Posted by: Tim at June 24, 2006 12:12 AM

While I would have preferred that Centracchio made his intentions known a lot earlier, I think he makes for an interesting candidate, especially given his longtime military career and EMA experience. I've met him on a few occassions, while he was still in command of the RING. While he certainly has Republican leanings, he doesn't strike me as ideologically motivated at all. Hopefully, he just wants to be of service to our state, now that he's a civilian again. Of course, if he is thinking ahead to 2010, it certainly would put him in position for the top job, wouldn't it?

I have to partially agree with Anthony on this one. The seat is up for grabs, so it's fair game. However, I kind of like King, and certainly don't wish him any ill will. That being said, no one is entitled just to slide into any position. I think the GOP side of this is going to be a whole lot more interesting that the Dem side. Liz who? Ha ha. Two words: name recognition. She has virtually none. I'm a political junky, if there ever was one, and I can't even recall which city she represents. If I were the Dems, I'd be worried about Centracchio, too. Don't forget, she has her own primary against Spencer Dickenson (the guy who likes building houses).

Posted by: Will at June 24, 2006 2:41 AM

Dear Tim,

Let me explain it to you in the clearest terms available:

you cannot build a successful political movement from the top down.

Your side has primaries for Governor, LG, and soon 1st District. Meanwhile, many areas downticket lie dormant.

Your side, because it is such a minority position due to its current lack of skilled political leadership, must be unified to be successful. Already, Mr. King is throwing bombs at the good General.

Let me again say this clearly: If Liz Roberts was not running and if the General had a letter other than "R" in front of his name, I'd vote for him.

Once again, your party leadership bungled by introducing Mr. "I've really never lived there but I'll run for LG" in the first place.

Now, instead of steering candidates to proper races (Everything you need to know about the RIGOP is they cannot find a role for a great and honorable man like Dave Rogers) they have created 3 mudfights.

Lastly, the Roberts name, much previous to Denny, is very well known where it needs to be. It should be remembered that Sen. Roberts has something nobody on the GOP side can point to: political achievement.

Posted by: Bobby Oliveira at June 24, 2006 9:33 AM


Most people in this state can't name their OWN state senator, let alone the one in the next district. If you think Roberts' 'name recognition' extends beyond the pols, you really have no idea who your constituents are. And with a 75% unfavorability rating, anyone who's spent time in the legislature is facing an UPHILL battle to extract themselves from the rest of the scum up there.

Posted by: Greg at June 24, 2006 6:00 PM

I'll let others assess Centracchio's success as adjutant general, but judging from his trial balloon candidacy last year and his moves of the past week, I'd rank the general one notch ahead of Adm. James Stockdale (remember him, Perot fans?) in political skills.
And what about the theory that Laffey put him up to running after hearing King donated a grand to Chafee's campaign?

Posted by: Rhody at June 25, 2006 1:07 AM

Dear Greg,

You need to spend more time with seniors. You also need to realize that 75% unfavorable means nothing. Last cycle, it meant less than nothing.

Posted by: Bobby Oliveira at June 25, 2006 12:10 PM

I met Kerry King. He's a pompous jerk. I wouldn't elect him to be my trash collector. Hope he stays in narragansett...retired where he can't annoy anyone.

Posted by: Santos Appolito at June 25, 2006 4:23 PM

Strangely, I agree with you that the RI GOP lacks unity that is necessary to elect leaders. The RI Democrats have always done a better job of building a "big tent" and there are several elected Democrats who would be Republicans in any other state. Because of their numbers they've been able to get past some of their unity issues, but even so, most Republican wins happen after divisive Democrat priamries.

On the Dave Rogers issue, Carcieri did try to take care of him by giving him a State House job, but things apparently didn't work out. Word is that Dave might need to address some of his own issues.

On the Beth Roberts issue, I don't think her name ID is anywhere near Reg's.

Posted by: Anthony at June 25, 2006 8:33 PM

You are all making very interesting points about the Lt Governors race. I agree with many of you that while the Gen came to the race late it is his right to do so. What we are missing here is that Reggie, while a GREAT GUY is building his platform on emergency management. This will not stand up in the General Election, nor will the attack on Don Carcieri for "ditching" his endorsed candidate Kerry King for the General, it will be seen as opportunist on the Governors part and Charlie and Elizabeth will have a field day on him for that ( I can alrady see the TV ads). What the Gov MUST do is stand by his man! Kerry King is a stronger candidate on paper - especialy when it comes to Don Carcieris agenda "JOBS". I'm sorry but a JOBS and also better Emergency Mangement platform gets crushed by Fogarty and Roberts. Carcieri & King - A better economy, a better government, a better future, with the base of the message being MORE JOBS (25$pr/hr jobs instead of 8$pr/hr jobs) this is the winning ticket - Think ahead not just about todays announcement from a well known guy we all love.

Posted by: Tony M at June 26, 2006 9:52 PM

Reggie isn't really offering us much other than name recognition. Best I can tell he wants to be in charge of handling emergencies. State already has a system in place for that. Don't know much about this King guy yet, but I hear he has a strong record as a business leader and has enough money to make himself known. Reggie's going to wear thin after a while. Poeple are interested in jobs and making more money. Reggie knows nothing about that. This King fellow does.

Posted by: Just Thinking at June 29, 2006 10:44 AM