By Edward Fitzpatrick
U.S. Reps. David N. Cicilline and James R. Langevin coasted to victory in Democratic primaries on Tuesday night.
With 99 percent of precincts reporting in Rhode Island’s 1st Congressional District, Cicilline had 68 percent of the vote, far ahead of Christopher F. Young at 32 percent, according to unofficial results from the state Board of Elections.
And in Rhode Island’s 2nd Congressional District, Langevin had 64 percent of the vote, far ahead of Steven Archer at 19 percent and former state Rep. John D. Hamilton Sr. at 17 percent.
“I’m incredibly proud to be the Democratic nominee,” Cicilline said. “I’m working hard everyday to deliver results for Rhode Island by revitalizing our manufacturing base, making college more affordable, bringing back funding for infrastructure and job training, working to end the pay gap for women, and standing up to the powerful gun lobby to reduce gun violence.”
In the Nov. 8 general election, Cicilline will face Republican Harold Russell Taub.
Cicilline, 55, is a former Providence mayor and state representative who has been in Congress since 2011 and now sits on the House Judiciary and Foreign Affairs committees. Young, 47, who lives in Coventry, is working for Local 23 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.
In the Nov. 8 general election, Langevin will face Republican Rhue R. Reis and independent candidates Salvatore G. Caiozzo and Jeffrey C. Johnson.
“I am honored and incredibly grateful to the Democratic voters of the Second District for their support,” Langevin said. “I have long said that I do not see my position as a birthright – I am merely a steward of a seat that belongs to the people of Rhode Island, and I will keep working hard every single day to represent Rhode Islanders to the very best of my ability.”
Langevin, 52, of Warwick, is a former state legislator and secretary of state who in 2001 became the first quadriplegic to serve in Congress. He is on the House Armed Services and Homeland Security committees and is co-founder of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus.
Hamilton, 66, of Charleston, was a delegate for U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and vice chairman of the state delegation to the Democratic National Convention. He ran to Langevin’s left, saying that the incumbent has failed to place sufficient emphasis on issues such as income inequality, free public college tuition and climate change.
Archer, 58, of Warwick, is a former paratrooper, quahogger and Warwick harbormaster who now owns Archer Anesthesia Providers. A former Republican, he ran to Langevin’s right, calling Obamacare a “disaster, calling for tort reform and talking about the public costs of illegal immigration.
The incumbents held enormous fund-raising advantages. As of Aug. 24, Langevin had $907,337 in campaign cash after raising $924,536, according to the Federal Election Commission. By contrast, Hamilton had $388 in campaign cash after raising $550, and Archer had $437 in campaign cash after raising $6,346. Meanwhile, Cicilline had $760,937 in campaign cash as of Aug. 24 after raising $1,196,440, while Young had not reached the $5,000 threshold for federal election reports.