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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

2006 Rhode Island Senate: Kennedy out

Posted by Bob Brigham


WASHINGTON -- Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., on Wednesday ruled out a run for the Senate in 2006, saying he could better serve his constituents by staying in the House and serving on the Appropriations Committee. [...]

Bill Lynch, the state's Democratic Party chairman, said he thought it was the right decision because the state could suffer if it no longer had a representative on the Appropriations Committee. But he said he thought Kennedy would have easily beat Chafee.

"I have mixed feelings about it," he said. "What is clear is that there's consensus in the Rhode Island community that Sen. Chafee is very vulnerable. That much doesn't seem to be in dispute."

Another Democrat who has been mulling a run is Sheldon Whitehouse, the former state Attorney General.

Whitehouse said Wednesday that he wait until next week to make any announcements about his plans.

"I thank U.S. Rep. Kennedy for his kind words of encouragement today regarding my candidacy," Whitehouse said. "For personal reasons, I will defer making any public announcements regarding the 2006 campaign until Monday morning."

Lynch said he spoke with Whitehouse earlier this week and his sense is that Whitehouse will run.

The only declared candidate for the race is Secretary of State Matt Brown, who Langevin last week said didn't have enough experience to work in the Senate. Lynch said he didn't share that view.

From what I'm hearing, Matt Brown is the frontrunner.

Posted at 09:14 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Rhode Island | Technorati