More announce intention to run for RI congressional seat

Omar Bah (photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News) and Ed Pacheco (from campaign video)

WARWICK, R.I. (AP) — Former state representative and one-time chair of the Rhode Island Democratic Party Ed Pacheco said Monday that he will run to replace retiring Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin.

He joins Omar Bah in seeking the Democratic nomination. Bah, a former journalist who is a psychologist and executive director of The Refugee Dream Center in Providence, announced his run over the weekend.

Former Republican state Rep. Robert Lancia, a retired Navy chaplain, had said he was running before Langevin announced his retirement. He lost to Langevin in 2020.

“Together we can work to lift millions of children out of poverty; establish universal pre-k; help younger generations escape crushing debt through loan forgiveness; create good paying jobs by supporting the blue and green economy; fight for social justice; and support every American’s right to vote,” Pacheco said in a statement.

Pacheco, who was first elected to the Burrillville School Committee at age 19, is currently interim executive director of external affairs at Rhode Island College.

Bah in a statement said his focus is on affordable housing, health care, education, homelessness, crime and climate change.

“I will run as a Democrat but my hope is to help in uniting the country, represent the diversity and experiences of people in this country, and to build and promote a moderate tone in Washington,” said Bah, a refugee from Gambia in Africa.

Langevin announced Jan. 18 that he would not seek reelection. Chair of the House Armed Services subcommittee handling cyber issues, he has represented a district covering western Rhode Island since 2001. He is the first quadriplegic to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.