2010 Campaign Intrigue: John Loughlin (Yes, Loughlin) Was Asked To Step Aside for Frank Caprio
Avid followers of Rhode Island politics are aware that John Robitaille was approached by the Frank Caprio campaign – and, in due course, by a circumspect Frank Caprio himself – about dropping out of the 2010 gubernatorial race so as to avoid the four way race that ultimately got Linc Chafee elected. (Robitaille demurred and wound up finishing second, ahead of Caprio, leading some observers to wonder exactly who should have asked whom to drop out.)
It turns out, however, that the story didn’t end there, as Republicans learned at last night’s State Central meeting. In March of 2010, Gio Ciccione, then-Chair of the RIGOP, approached John Loughlin, who was running for the First RI Congressional District, and suggested that he step aside so that then-General Treasurer Frank Caprio could have a clear shot at running for the Congressional seat — running for the seat as an (R), not the (D) that he was.
The guy who got this off his chest – he had hitherto been silent about the incident – was Mike Napolitano, now the manager of John Loughlin’s bid for RI-1 next year. (Loughlin will face off against Brendan Doherty in a Republican primary.) Napolitano proffered the incident as an object lesson to close the Republican primary in the state, which was the thoroughly debated subject of last night’s meeting.
(While this behind-the-scenes drama was not publicized at the time, its denouement was, naturally, well known: Loughlin declined the suggestion and stayed in the race.)