Cicilline Survives Primary in Race to Succeed Kennedy

Posted September 14, 2010 at 9:44pm

Providence Mayor David Cicilline survived a bloody four-way Democratic primary Tuesday and becomes the favorite in the race to replace retiring Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D) in Rhode Island’s 1st district.

With 64 percent of districts reporting, Cicilline had 36 percent of the vote, compared with 22.5 percent for former state Democratic Party Chairman Bill Lynch, 22 percent for businessman Anthony Gemma and 19.5 percent for state Rep. David Segal.

Gemma launched a series of attacks against Cicilline in recent days, calling on Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen (Md.) to force Cicilline out of the race.

Gemma also ran a statewide television and radio ad campaign suggesting that Cicilline was the worst mayor in the capital city’s history.

It remains to be seen whether the primary attacks will haunt the openly gay Cicilline as he faces Republican state Rep. John Loughlin in the general election. It also remains to be seen whether national Republicans will devote any resources to the race, which will not be cheap as Providence is a relatively expensive media market.