Cicilline raises $650K for 2022 campaign, with RI set to lose a House seat

Politics

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Congressman David Cicilline announced Monday his campaign raised over $650,000 during the first three months of this year, as he prepares for the U.S. Census Bureau to announce whether his seat will disappear.

Cicilline’s campaign said the total is a record fundraising haul for a Rhode Island U.S. House candidate in a single quarter — a sign the congressman is trying to build up a war chest if Rhode Island loses one of its two House seats when the Census numbers come out.

“I am blown away!” Cicilline wrote in a campaign email to supporters Monday afternoon trumpeting the number.

Cicilline’s counterpart in Rhode Island’s U.S. House delegation, fellow Democrat Jim Langevin, has not yet announced his first-quarter numbers.

Neither Cicilline nor Langevin has been willing to say if he would run against the other man should the state be reduced to one seat, with both insisting Rhode Island still has a chance of keeping two — though few experts agree.

“It will depend a lot on how well our Census count is relative to other states,” Cicilline said in February during an appearance on WPRI 12’s Newsmakers. “I think we had a good Census count here — if other states underperformed some, then I think we have an opportunity to hold onto two seats.”

Alluding to the pandemic, he added, “This is not a time to kind of be self-indulgent and start contemplating what my future is. … I haven’t given it any thought.”

The Census Bureau is expected to release the new nationwide population numbers by the end of April, and with it the reapportionment of the 435 U.S. House seats among the 50 states to align with the updated count of where Americans live.

While political observers in Rhode Island have generally downplayed the possibility that Cicilline and Langevin would wind up running against each other for a single at-large House seat in the 2022 primary, there is still no indication either one is ready to step aside — and Cicilline’s fundraising numbers make clear that is not his plan.

In addition to the $650,000 for his own campaign account, a Cicilline adviser said he raised $868,000 during the quarter for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and other individual candidates.

Cicilline, 59, won the 1st Congressional District seat in 2010 after serving two terms as mayor of Providence, and his profile has risen significantly since Democrats took back control of the House in 2018. He served as an impeachment manager earlier this year and led a high-profile Judiciary Committee antitrust investigation into Big Tech, though he lost a bid for a leadership post last fall.

Ted Nesi (tnesi@wpri.com) is a Target 12 investigative reporter and 12 News politics/business editor. He co-hosts Newsmakers and writes Nesi’s Notes on Saturdays. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram

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