Seth Magaziner wins Democratic primary for CD2 seat
State Treasurer Seth Magaziner won the Democratic primary nomination in Rhode Island’s 2nd congressional district in Tuesday’s primary.
With 90.8% of constituencies reporting at press time, Magaziner was leading with 52.9% of the vote.
The Republican candidate, former Cranston mayor Allan Fung, was unopposed in the primary.
Congressional District 2 covers the western half of the state, including Cranston, Warwick, Washington County, and parts of Providence.
This year’s election marks the first time in two decades that the seat has been opened. U.S. Representative Jim Langevin announced in January that he would not seek re-election, prompting a diverse group of candidates to enter the race.
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Political forecasters have called November’s general election a toss-up, saying the seat could swing to Republican for the first time in decades. Therefore, for many Democratic voters, the main question was which candidate had the highest probability of beating Fung.
Magaziner, who served two terms as treasurer, left the packed governor’s race to run for Congress. He quickly became the frontrunner, gaining support from Langevin, the Rhode Island Democratic Party, and a majority of the state’s most powerful labor unions.
Early results had former State Rep. David Segal in second place. Tuesday evening, he had obtained 16.6% of the votes.
The leftmost candidate in the race, Segal is the director of the national advocacy group Demand Progress. His campaign centered on a populist message of corporate power, and he won the endorsements of American senses Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
“Thank you to everyone who supported my campaign – we’ve accomplished so much together,” Segal wrote in a tweet. He praised Magaziner, adding, “I look forward to working with you through November to keep that blue seat.”
Sarah Morgenthau, who most recently worked at the US Department of Commerce as a Biden administration appointee, received 12% of the vote and served in the Department of Homeland Security during the Obama administration.
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Throughout her campaign, Morgenthau highlighted her experience in Washington and argued that Rhode Island has never had a Democratic congresswoman.
However, she was repeatedly confronted with questions about her ties to Rhode Island. Although his family has owned a vacation home in Saunderstown for many years, Morgenthau has spent most of his career in Washington and the New York area, and had not made Rhode Island his primary residence until this year.
“I spoke on the phone with Treasurer Magaziner earlier and congratulated him on his victory,” Morgenthau said in a statement released by his camp. “As I said before, the most important thing is that we keep this seat under Democratic control, the stakes are just too high. I assured the Treasurer that I will do everything in my power to make it happen. the case and to support his campaign in the months to come.”
Joy Fox, CEO of communications firm The Clarendon Group, won 11.5% of the vote. A Cranston native, Fox previously worked as a spokesperson for Langevin and former Governor Gina Raimondo, and his campaign has emphasized his local ties. However, she struggled to keep up with other candidates in fundraising and polls.
On Tuesday night, Fox conceded the race, calling his campaign “small but mighty.” She urged supporters to “join me in supporting our Democratic nominee, Treasurer General Seth Magaziner.”
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Omar Bah, the founder of the Refugee Dream Center, obtained 4.5% of the votes. A former journalist from The Gambia with a fascinating history of escaping political persecution, he is a relative newcomer to politics.
Former State Rep. Spencer Dickinson won 2.5 percent of the vote.
Dickinson appeared on the ballot had not campaigned in the final weeks leading up to the election. A friend, John Carlevale, told the Providence Journal in August that Dickinson had serious health issues and was “suspending the active part of his campaign.”
Former State Representative Edwin Pacheco and Coventry native Michael Neary had also entered the race but dropped out before the deadline to qualify for the ballot.
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