PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — General Treasurer Seth Magaziner is considering whether to abandon his campaign for governor and enter the Democratic primary to replace Congressman Jim Langevin, while state Sen. Jessica de la Cruz has decided to jump into the GOP primary, 12 News has learned.

“I’m flattered by the many people who have encouraged me to consider running for Congress and I share their concern that Democrats need a strong candidate to hold the seat,” Magaziner said in a statement Sunday.

“While I feel I owe it to those who have reached out to consider the possibility, I also believe strongly in our campaign to bring strong economic leadership to the governor’s office and remain in the race for governor at this time,” he said.

Sources said Magaziner has had multiple conversations over the weekend about running in the 2nd Congressional District. The 38-year-old Providence resident lives in the 1st Congressional District, not the 2nd, though candidates are not required to live in the districts where they run. (Democrat David Cicilline has represented the 1st District since 2011.)

Magaziner is in his second term as treasurer and has spent years laying the groundwork to seek the governor’s office this fall. He is one of five Democrats challenging incumbent Dan McKee in the primary, and has been the financial leader in that race, sitting on nearly $1.6 million in campaign cash as of Sept. 30. (Magaziner cannot use that money for a federal campaign, though he could ask donors to accept refunds of their state-level contributions and then cut new checks to his federal account.)

A change of plans by Magaziner would be the latest domino to fall after Langevin’s shock retirement announcement rocked Rhode Island politics on Tuesday. Top Democrats have spent recent days in frantic conversations about who might replace the 11-term incumbent on the November ballot, as Republicans argue they have a rare opportunity to win a federal race in Rhode Island.

Another Democratic gubernatorial candidate, former CVS executive Helena Foulkes, has also fielded calls in recent days encouraging her to consider a bid for the 2nd District seat. In a statement Sunday night, Foulkes said she had been “overwhelmed” by the outreach but wasn’t interested in a run for Congress.

“I’m running for governor because I believe my executive and leadership experience will allow me to get things done for Rhode Islanders,” she said. “That is the role where I can make the most impact to improve people’s lives and unlock our state’s amazing potential.”

So far only one Democrat has actually entered the 2nd District primary: Omar Bah, founder of the Refugee Dream Center in Providence. “When Congressman Langevin recently announced his retirement, I saw a great opportunity to once again manifest the amazing opportunities I have had in this country since my arrival here as a refugee,” Bah said in an email Saturday.

Another Democrat, former state Rep. Ed Pacheco, is slated to kick off his campaign Monday. A host of other Democrats are flirting with a run or being encouraged to consider a campaign, including outgoing Health Department Director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, state Sen. Joshua Miller and state Rep. Carol Hagan McEntee. (One potential Democratic candidate, former R.I. State Police Col. Brendan Doherty, ruled out a bid on Saturday.)

Miller, a Cranston Democrat, said Sunday night he continues “to seriously consider a campaign” and expects to make a decision “in the coming days.”

“I believe the person who represents this congressional district should have experience working to build consensus among people with differing opinions, understands and embraces the Rhode Island values of hard work and commitment to community, and be ready to work tirelessly for the economic well-being of all people in our state,” he said in a statement.

On the Republican side, state Sen. Jessica de la Cruz confirmed Sunday night she has decided to enter the GOP primary.

The 40-year-old lawmaker said she set a goal to see if she could raise at least $100,000 in pledged campaign donations to decide if she was viable, and she has already surpassed that goal. (She said she plans to open her campaign account and begin accepting contributions on Monday.)

“I feel like that’s a really good sign,” said de la Cruz, R-North Smithfield. “I feel like people are ready for a fresh face to get behind, and there’s a lot of enthusiasm as I call people — more than I ever could have imagined.”

Key issues for de la Cruz include the economy, education, and relations with China, she said, adding that she will outline her platform in a more formal announcement.

Among other Republicans, former state Rep. Bob Lancia was already challenging Langevin before the latter’s retirement announcement, seeking a rematch after he lost in 2020. Former Cranston Mayor Allan Fung also has been widely touted as a top-tier recruit for the GOP.

Ted Nesi ( 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

Tim White contributed to this report.