June 10, 2008

The Opposition Can Never Win if They Don't Run...

Carroll Andrew Morse

At a Providence City Republican Committee meet-the-candidates-event last evening, Providence GOP Chairman Dave Talan offered a firsthand observation on the importance of the Republican party fielding full slates of candidates, every election cycle…

I like to tell a story from two years ago about my meeting with Representative Stephen Costantino from Federal Hill. On Primary Day in 2006, I was in front of my own voting place, the Reservoir Avenue Fire Station, where they were having a heavily contested Democratic Primary between Representative Tom Slater and two challengers. Rep. Costantino was out in front of my voting place working for Slater because there was no primary in his own district. I was out there passing out fliers for our City Council candidate, Evaristo Rosario, for the November election.

The whole day, I was there with Rep. Costantino. He spent the entire day complaining to me, saying why did you Republicans put up a candidate to run against me. She has no chance of winning, why bother? Now, I have to go out and I have to spend money and I have to campaign. Why are you bothering to do all that?

I felt like telling him, you know Steve, you just answered your own question. And when it came to the November election, I was again in out front of my polling place, but this time, I didn't see Rep. Costantino there, because he was busy in his own neighborhood with an opponent.

That's what we need to do, keep all the incumbents busy. Most incumbents are incredibly paranoid; if they have an opponent, they'll spend all their money on their own race and they won't spend any time at all helping anybody else out in the Democratic Party. They won't be able to gang up on the Republicans in other neighborhoods and districts, like they will if they are without opponents. So anybody who chooses to run as a Republican, even in what would seem to be an unwinnable district, does the party a favor by keeping an incumbent occupied and improving the chances that another Republican in a neighboring district will win, because they'll be fighting on even terms.

Anyone interested in running for a state and local office in Rhode Island has until June 25 to file a declaration of candidacy.

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I'd bet there are people out there who'd love to take on a Dem incumbent and would be willing to run as a Republican, but fear being shunned by the party just because they disagree with party orthodoxy on a social issue here, an economic issue there.
Don't worry about the ideological purity (the Dems sure don't). Just run some candidates. My neck out of the woods is dominated by Dems, and I'd love to have alternatives.

Posted by: rhody at June 10, 2008 2:40 PM

Declarations can be filed only from Monday, June 23 to June 25TH no later than 4:00 P.M., the last day.

Posted by: Scott Bill Hirst at June 10, 2008 4:48 PM

Steven COSTANTINO - 2,149 - 88.29%
Lynell MASTERSON - 285 - 11.71%

Posted by: Matt Jerzyk at June 10, 2008 5:05 PM

Rhody, the state GOP's problem is they continue to encourage and fawn over politicians who look-like, act-like, smell-like Democrats. Take the union-coddling mayor of Warwick for example.

When the state GOP's focus changes to serious, kick-some-ass reform, they'll win big.

Posted by: George at June 10, 2008 5:44 PM

You are right George with the caveat of "in the suburbs".
You will never elect sane representatives in leech dominated places like CF, Pawtucket, Woon and of course the "Capital City".

Posted by: Mike at June 10, 2008 7:50 PM
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