Democratic incumbents retain seats

Brown Daily Herald
Wednesday, November 5, 2014

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, D-RI, U.S. Rep. David Cicilline '83, D-R.I., and U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., three of the four members of the state's delegation, all won their seats after being favored to win throughout the campaign.

Cicilline won the congressional race against Cormick Lynch, his Republican challenger, garnering 59.4 percent of the vote with 99 percent of precincts reporting. Cicilline will represent the 1st District for his third consecutive term in Congress after serving eight years in the General Assembly and two terms as mayor of Providence.

While Lynch, who is a Marine veteran from the Iraq War, criticized Cicilline for not doing enough to support the state's economy while in office, Cicilline has publicly blamed the "'do-nothing' Republican Congress."

Cicilline sits on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, including the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations. Lynch heavily criticized Cicilline for focusing more attention on his campaign than on legislating a travel ban to keep Americans from contracting Ebola.

According to a poll conducted by the Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions in October 2013, 26.6 percent of people rated the job Cicilline was doing as a U.S. representative as excellent or good. This was the lowest approval rating of any of the statewide office holders, according to the poll results.

But Cicilline won by about 20 percentage points Tuesday after focusing his campaign on the larger goal of regaining Democratic control in the U.S. House of Representatives - though Tuesday's national elections in fact resulted in Republican gains in the House.

"I look forward to continuing my work to rebuild the middle class, revitalize American manufacturing, bring good-paying jobs back home, ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work, raise the minimum wage, fix our broken immigration system and make college more affordable," Cicilline said in his victory speech, according to an email sent to The Herald by his campaign.

A political heavyweight, Langevin won by about 62 percent of the vote, securing his eighth term representing Rhode Island's 2nd District against Republican challenger Rhue Reis. Before representing southern and western Rhode Island, Langevin served as the state's youngest secretary of state and was in the Rhode Island House of Representatives for six years.

Lagevin was polling at 40.1 percent in a Taubman Center poll prior to the election.

He sits on the House Committee on Armed Services and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

"It has been a challenging time in Congress, the most frustrating in my tenure, in fact," Langevin said in a victory speech, which was sent in an email to the Herald. 

Reis's platform focused on portraying Langevin as an entrenched "do-nothing" politician and representing himself as a member of the community and small businessman.

"Mr. Reis ran a clean, fair race, and he was a complete gentleman on the campaign trail," Langevin said. "It was a pleasure to campaign alongside him."

Reed also maintained his Senate seat against Mark Zaccaria.

"That can't be considered unexpected," Zaccaria said at an event in Warwick for the Rhode Island Republican Party. Zaccaria lost the race for Rhode Island's 2nd District twice before while going up against Reed, the most popular member of Rhode Island's congressional delegation. A Taubman poll in April showed Reed's approval rating at 55.3 percent.

"I'm interested to see what thefinal numbers are because I think that it will at least be a close race," Zaccaria said.

Reed won with over 70 percent of the vote.

"The single biggest complain that I found about Mr. Reed was that he was inaccessible to his constituents," Zaccaria added. "He didn't show up for clam bakes, he didn't come to the Greek festivals."

"We know that change does not come quickly," Reed said after winning his fourth term in the Senate. "I am honored by your support, humbled by your confidence in me, and more driven than ever to work harder and harder for you the people of Rhode Island, and for all Americans."

Reed currently serves on the Appropriations Committee, Armed Services Committee and Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, and has served on the Aging Committee, Ethics Committee, Joint Economic Committee and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan '80 P'15 won reelection to a second term against Republican Walt Havenstein. U.S. Rep. Daniel Maffei '90, D-N.Y., who ran for another term representing New York's 24th district, lost to Republican John Katko.

 

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