Congress’ 1st quadriplegic headlines Rhode Island’s primary

Incumbent Congressman Jim Langevin (at left) and Dylan Conley are running in Rhode Island’s 2nd District Democratic primary election. File photos by Steve Klamkin WPRO News

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Longtime U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin, the first quadriplegic lawmaker elected to Congress, faces Democratic challenger Dylan Conley in Tuesday’s Rhode Island primary.

Voters were also choosing candidates for mayor in Cranston, Warwick, Pawtucket and Central Falls.

The 56-year-old Langevin, who became the first quadriplegic to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives when he was elected in 2000, is up against Dylan Conley, a 33-year-old lawyer who chairs the Providence Board of Licenses and entered the race late in June.

Langevin has focused on national security, health care, cybersecurity and elections security during his congressional tenure. He’s a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, where he chairs the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee. Langevin first was elected to the House in 2000.

Former state lawmaker Robert Lancia and fellow Republican Donald Robbio were battling it out on the ballot for the GOP U.S. House primary.

Lancia, a former elementary school teacher, set his sights on the U.S. House after losing reelection to his seat in the Rhode Island House of Representatives in 2018. He faced Robbio, an Air Force veteran and advocate for the elderly, who campaigned on a pledge to create new jobs and reform the way that Social Security is funded.

Democratic U.S. Rep. David Cicilline had no primary opponent Tuesday in his bid for reelection to represent Rhode Island’s 1st Congressional District.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Jack Reed also sailed past the primary unopposed and will face Republican Allen Waters in a quest for a fifth term in the November general election.

Rhode Island’s other U.S. senator, Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse, won a third term in 2018 and won’t be up for reelection again until 2024.