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Rhode Island incumbents struggle in state legislative primary

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September 29, 2010

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island:Ten Rhode Island state legislative incumbents lost their party primary on September 14 -- the most incumbents to lose in any state legislative primary in the country.[1]

Nine members of the state house were defeated by challengers, and one state senator was ousted.[1]

The nine state representatives who lost are all Democrats. They are Peter Wasylyk (D), Joseph Almeida (D), Alfred Gemma (D), David Caprio (D), Michael Rice (D), Mary Ann Shallcross-Smith (D), Christopher Fierro (D), Kenneth Vaudreuil (D), Douglas Gablinske (D). On the Senate side Leo Blais (D) was defeated by Nicholas Kettle in the Democratic primary.

The challengers who won are Raymond Hull, Leo Medina, David Bennett, Teresa Tanzi, Spencer Dickinson, Jeremiah O'Grady, Robert Phillips, James McLaughlin, and Richard Morrison.

Across the country, 94 incumbents lost primaries in state legislative elections.

Local pundits appeared to blame the new House speaker, Gordon Fox, for the demise of so many incumbents.[2]

Both the Rhode Island House and Senate are heavily dominated by Democrats, and are unlikely to change in this election.

House

Party As of April 2014
     Democratic Party 69
     Republican Party 6
Total 75

Senate

Party As of April 2014
     Democratic Party 32
     Republican Party 5
     Independent 1
Total 38


See also

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References