Republican Rumblings

In this week’s Providence Phoenix, Ian Donnis provides a short political profile of Giovanni Cicione, who may be the first “official” candidate for state Republican chair…

Giovanni Cicione, a lawyer and Republican activist who paid his dues by running against US Representative Patrick J. Kennedy in 1996, has emerged as a leading contender to succeed Patricia Morgan as chairman of the Rhode Island Republican Party.
“I’ve spoken with a lot of people in the party leadership and made my pitch,” the 36-year-old Barrington resident told the Phoenix earlier this week. “I’m not sure it’s the most sensible thing to be doing. [But] I think the party needs a different kind of leadership and I think I can bring a lot to the table.”
Later in the article, Donnis notes that Mr Cicone declined to offer any specific criticism of outgoing Chairwoman Patricia Morgan. Hopefully, Mr. Cicone’s understandable reluctance to enumerate the faults of the current chair will not stop from elaborating in the near future on what he thinks will be “different” about the leadership he hopes to bring forth.
Donnis also quotes the Associated Press about a few high-profile names who are not interested in the Chairperson’s job, and reports on speculation about one other person who might be interested…
The Associated Press recently reported that Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian, losing secretary of state candidate Sue Stenhouse, and losing Cranston mayoral candidate Allan Fung are not interested in the position. Cicione says the only other name he has heard as a prospective candidate is that of Malcolm Maguire, who helped to raise funds for Cranston Mayor Stephen P. Laffey’s US Senate campaign. Maguire could not be reached for comment.

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17 years ago

If the job of the RI GOP chair is to elect candidates, I think it would be a good idea to pick someone who has actually run for office and won.

17 years ago

I find myself agreeing with Anthony (ugh!) a little here. However, that list of winning Republican candidates is a very short one at present, mainly because we’ve done very little to really build the party.
I certainly have nothing against Gio, as he’s someone I know pretty well. If he were to win, I would not necessarily object, but I have some concerns that I would want to have addressed first.
I guess my concerns are four-fold. First, I’d want someone as Chair that can credibly go head to head with Bill Lynch on the news programs, or not serve as a punching bag on the radio shows. Secondly, I’d want someone that has isn’t afraid to articulate a clear “Republican” message. A lot of our problems come down to branding — right now, we’re about tied with cow manure. Third, I’d want someone with the ability to raise funds for the party and for GOP candidates, so that we can actively recruit candidates and give them a real shot of winning. Lastly, I’d want someone there that’s really committed to (re)creating the party from the bottom, up — instead of taking marching orders from Gelfuso, Jackvony, Levesque, and that sort of ilk.
I’m just not convinced YET that Gio’s the one to do that. So far, he has two things going for him: He’s a nice guy, and he’s not Patricia Morgan. I just need more.

David Davis
David Davis
17 years ago

Mr. Cicione seems to be putting the typical misguided spin on things. Mr. Maguire raised funds for all of the major Republican candidates in the last election. Mr. Carcieri, Steve Laffey, and yes even “losin” Linc Chafee.

Scott Bill Hirst
Scott Bill Hirst
17 years ago

Since it is likely that the Rhode Island Republican State Central Committee will ratify the Governor’s choice it will be interesting what the Governor will be looking for in a State GOP Chair.
While I appreciate the thought as someone who has run for office and won to be State GOP Chair that should not exclude someone who has not.The fact of the matter is many outsyanding or good GOP candidates have a impossible job getting elected EVEN in areas that may elected Republican candidates.
Virtually no State GOP Chair is perfect.The person closen should know their liabilities and try to compensate it with good staff or more importantly good committee appointments.They should establish a good bevy of advisers.
The grass roots has to be respected more and not just when the state party wants something.Also bridges have to be built with various GOP organizations such as the NFRA,.I am not a member of that group but many are active workers in the party.

Perry Ellis
Perry Ellis
17 years ago

Lets face it: The GOP is the underdog in RI and the only way that the only opposition party in the state is ever going to come from behind and win is by doing the only thing underdogs can do to win. F-I-G-H-f’ing-T FIGHT!
That said, Republicans should be looking for major changes and therefore NOT another one of the Gov’s picks!
More to come…

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