I suspect that those who orchestrated Heidi Rogers’ move of withdrawing from the race for lieutenant governor in order to ensure an easier path for independent candidate Robert Healey did not anticipate such controversy:
Kara D. Russo, who lost the Republican primary for lieutenant governor, filed a legal complaint with the state Board of Elections Monday that seeks to reverse the decision by GOP primary winner Heidi Rogers to drop out of the race to improve the election chances for Robert J. Healey, head of the Cool Moose party. …
Russo, accompanied by her fiancé, Christopher F. Young, and lawyer, Keven A. McKenna, who is also an independent candidate for attorney general, presented their legal complaint to Robert Kando, executive director of the state Board of Elections.
Upon request, the campaign of John Robitaille for governor sent me this carefully worded statement:
I am disappointed Heidi Rogers has withdrawn from the race, but I respect her decision to do so. After speaking with Heidi I am convinced that she gave this careful thought and consideration.
And in a casual email that I requested permission to post, in part, former Cranston mayor Stephen Laffey comments as follows:
Imagine running for statewide office and seeing this happen … hurts everyone all the way down the ticket. People in Afghanistan just went out and voted again … some died … some will die soon … and in RI they make a mockery of it.
Perhaps the intra-Republican heat is a surprise (although players in politics ought to have known that the risk was there), but that the Democrats would try to damage the Republican brand on the basis of Rogers’ decision should have been entirely predictable. Moreover, even were the local mainstream media not so sympathetic to the Democrats, the maneuver was sure to be one of the most interesting (read: “newsworthy”) events in the post-primary lull. This controversy — which runs contrary to the message that the GOP is trying to promote for this election cycle — was completely unnecessary.
Of course, the silver lining for the cynic is that so few Rhode Islanders actually pay attention that a majority of voters will probably go to the polls with a paraphrased version of the national storyline foremost in their minds.