Jan. 29, 2022

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Happy Saturday! Here’s another edition of my weekend column for WPRI.com – as always, send your takes, tips and trial balloons to tnesi@wpri.com and follow @tednesi on Twitter.

1. Seth Magaziner starts his run for Congress with some obvious liabilities: he was running for governor until a few minutes ago, he doesn’t live in the district he wants to represent, and he’s got less than eight months to raise the money to win the primary. Yet the fact that various high-level Democrats still pushed him to jump into the race shows just how much concern there is among party poohbahs about the possibility Republicans could win a U.S. House race in Rhode Island for the first time since 1992. Magaziner hopes traditional party allegiances will carry him across the finish line, saying at his kickoff news conference, “Trump is not going away. Kevin McCarthy is not going away … We can’t mess around and we have to hold this seat.” The treasurer is now the most high-profile Democrat in the race, with a built-in campaign apparatus from his erstwhile gubernatorial bid and the fundraising network to raise money quickly. His team got some good news Friday, as one of his better-known potential rivals — state Sen. Joshua Miller of Cranston — announced he was staying out of the primary. But Magaziner hasn’t cleared the field: former Rep. Ed Pacheco launched on Monday with a glossy video, two days after Refugee Dream Center founder Omar Bah announced his candidacy. (In a statement welcoming Magaziner to the race, Pacheco pointedly noted that he is “a lifelong resident of the 2nd Congressional District.”) A number of others say they are still considering a run, including Rep. Teresa Tanzi, Rep. Carol Hagan McEntee, former Langevin staffer Joy Fox, political operative Michael Neary, and former state Sen. Jim Sheehan. With the primary in a little over seven months, our longtime political analyst Joe Fleming says would-be candidates need to make decisions quickly. “Whoever’s going to run really needs to announce in the next couple weeks,” he said.

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