PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Add former R.I. State Police Col. Brendan Doherty to the list of potential candidates who might seek retiring Congressman Jim Langevin’s seat this fall.
“I love the campaigning and I would really enjoy that position, but it has to be done right,” Doherty told 12 News. “I don’t jump into anything halfway. I have to make sure it’s 110%.”
Doherty, who is now a Narragansett resident, was the Republican nominee back in 2012 against Democratic incumbent David Cicilline in Rhode Island’s 1st Congressional District. Cicilline defeated Doherty after a bruising race that centered on criticism of the former’s tenure as Providence mayor.
This time around, Doherty is considering entering the Democratic primary for the 2nd District, which covers western Rhode Island. Langevin, a Democrat, first won the seat in 2000.
“I think anyone who is very, very serious needs to make a decision soon,” Doherty said.
Langevin’s surprise announcement Tuesday that he would not seek another term has scrambled the Rhode Island political landscape. Few people had expected the news, and many political observers see the field to replace him as wide open.
Two prominent Democrats who had early buzz for the job — Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea and House Speaker Joe Shekarchi — have already ruled out a run.
“Although I am humbled that Congressman Langevin and many others have mentioned me as a potential congressional candidate, I love serving as speaker and representing my Warwick constituents at the State House,” Shekarchi said in a statement issued Thursday morning — partly a bid to tamp down fevered speculation in the House about who might succeed him as speaker.
A number of other Democratic state lawmakers are considering a campaign, including state Sen. Joshua Miller, state Rep. Carol Hagan McEntee, and state Rep. Teresa Tanzi.
On the Republican side, former state Rep. Robert Lancia was already running for the seat before Langevin’s retirement announcement after unsuccessfully challenging him in 2020. Former Cranston Mayor Allan Fung said Wednesday he is considering seeking the GOP nomination, as well.
Ted Nesi (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 and Facebook