March 5, 2007

Chafee Talks Future: His and Avedesian's

Marc Comtois

File under "Moderates on the March": Providence Phoenix editor Ian Donnis spoke to Lincoln Chafee and got a couple interesting tidbits out of him:

During one of Lincoln Chafee's last news conferences as a US senator, he faced the inevitable questions about his political future. Noting how he had bought a home near Brown University, the Republican joked that he would run in 2010 to be the mayor of Providence.

Was Chafee serious?

Currently ensconced at Brown's Watson Institute, Chafee last week told me, "I'm very happy doing what I'm doing." Asked if he was gravitating toward running for mayor of Providence, he says, "This is all four years away. It's way too early."

Political junkies have been intrigued by the possibility of a rematch, for governor, between Chafee and Steve Laffey, his 2006 GOP primary opponent. Chafee's response to another question, however, suggests that this may not be in the cards.

Asked what he thinks Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian will do in 2010, Chafee says he expects his mayoral successor to "probably run for governor." Chafee went so far as to say, "At this stage, I'd encourage him to think about [running for] governor." Avedisian, who served as a Senate page to the late US Senator John Chafee, has close ties to the Chafee family, as well as to some Democrats, including Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Roberts. Chafee says a primary between Avedisian and himself "will not happen, from my perspective."

...Running for mayor might seem counter-intuitive for Chafee. Then again, he retains considerable goodwill, would run well in a number of neighborhoods, particularly the East Side, and he could be the first Republican since Buddy Cianci to have a good shot of taking City Hall.

Stay tuned, sports fans.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

Governor Avedisian!?!? Lets see, he is a moderate, intelligent, successfully run Warwick, very popular in the state's second largest city and has made a good name for himself outside of the State of RI. Count me on that bandwagon. Too bad that his toughest election would probably be in the Republican primary since he isn't a true conservative and he is, GASP, friends with Linc Chafee!!

Posted by: jdex at March 5, 2007 10:23 PM

An Avedisian-Laffey primary might prove fun, although my prediction would be that Laffey beats Avedisian. Unlike Chafee, Avedisian doesn't have instant statewide name recognition or the big bucks required to run statewide.

Posted by: Anthony at March 5, 2007 11:57 PM

I believe that may sadly be correct but I hope you are not and I don't see any "fun" in that scenario. Remember, the Dems are who we need to beat, not each other. Avedisian is a far better candidate and person but the far right would work against him.

Posted by: jdex at March 6, 2007 12:20 AM

I would have no problem with Chafee being mayor of Providence -- as long as he stayed there.

As for Laffey, after he gets his radio show, I think he'll either make run for US Congress or for Governor. He's just biding his time. I think he'll win, too.

As for Avedesian, he's a nice man, but I think he's a little too liberal -- even for Rhode Island. Nearly everyone in the Republican Party is to the "right" of Mayor Avedesian, possibly even Linc Chafee!

Posted by: Will at March 6, 2007 12:58 AM

Even if Avedesian is running has a Dem, everyone he runs against is to the right of him. Just look at his total LACK of handling the crossing guard situation in Warwick.

Posted by: Greg at March 6, 2007 8:02 AM

As a Warwick resident, I agree that Mayor Avedesian is a very nice guy, intelligent and has run the city pretty well. I don't think he takes a hard enough line against the regular bunch of actors, but he is hamstrung by not having many other Republicans to back him up in city government. Overall, I'd say he's a been a successful mayor.

Will is correct regarding Avedesian's ideological liberalness (particularly social issues). For me, though, I generally believe that a politician's stand on social issues is much less important in city (local) office. It really is a management job in which the focus is on getting things done (legally!).

To be honest, I haven't thought much about Avedesian as a statewide candidate. If not for Langevin, it would seem that Avedesian would be a shoo-in for Congress. As for governor, I have little doubt that either he or Laffey would be preferable to nearly any other option I've heard so far. The difference in their particular temperaments--for good and ill--will be a serious factor to consider. But now we're getting WAY ahead of ourselves.

Posted by: Marc Comtois at March 6, 2007 8:12 AM

One problem, though: given the animosity between Laffey and Avedesian as mayors of neighboring towns, would Laffey stand to see Avedesian running for governor or House? If Scott ran, I'd bet Laffey either jumps in himself (creating the same problem the GOP had last year) or pumps up somebody else to challenge him in a primary.
Avedesian could definitely get elected statewide...but will the conservatives allow him out of a primary?

Posted by: Rhody at March 6, 2007 1:19 PM

I like all three Republicans:Avedesian,Chafee, and Laffey,.
Regardless of ideology, there needs to be at least some basic loyalty to Republican candidates especially after the primary.
Both Avedesian and Laffey supported George W.Bush for re-election in 2004 and did not write-in the first President Bush like Lincoln Chafee did.The political silliness of that vote in 2004 by Lincoln Chafee hurt him in 2006, to some degree.

Posted by: Scott Bill Hirst at March 7, 2007 1:29 PM

Can we please stop referring to Lincoln Chafee as a "moderate" Republican? The only person in RI who sees Chafee's left-wing liberal views on taxes, the Mid-East, abortion and the role of government as "moderate" is Charlie Bakst.

Let us all pledge to dispense with this inappropriate label for the ex-Senator.

Posted by: Carl Elliott at March 8, 2007 3:27 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Important note: The text "http:" cannot appear anywhere in your comment.