Retiring Congressman Langevin endorses Magaziner

Seth Magaziner (left) is endorsed by retiring RI Congressman Jim Langevin at Waterplace Park in Providence June 30, 2022 over five other Democrats. Photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News

By Steve Klamkin WPRO News

Congressman Jim Langevin, who is retiring from Congress after 22 years, is endorsing a Democrat to succeed him, backing Seth Magaziner, who won the party’s endorsement in a convention last weekend.

“I’ve known Seth for many, many years and I know he will always fight for Rhode Island’s working families in Congress,” Langevin said at Waterplace Park overlooking downtown Providence Thursday afternoon.

“I am very grateful to Jim, not only for his endorsement of our campaign, but for his career, his lifetime really of public service to the people of Rhode Island,” said Magaziner, who, as the term-limited state General Treasurer initially launched a campaign for governor in 2021 before switching to a race for the open seat in the Second Congressional District in January.

There are at least five other Democrats in the race, and it follows Tuesday’s withdrawl of Republican Robert Lancia, leaving a clear field for Allan Fung, a former mayor of Cranston. Magaziner seized the opportunity to hammer Fung, drawing attention to their differences on issues ranging from social security to affordable health care, to abortion and gun safety.

“His whole campaign strategy is to hope that people don’t know what his positions are,” Magaziner said of Fung. “That is not a winning strategy. Our strategy is to make sure that voters are educated and they know what our positions are what his positions are and the difference between the two. And so, I want to get out there, I want to have 20 debates. I’ll bet he wants to have zero.”

Langevin was asked about the other Democrats in the running for the September 13 primary election. They include Omar Bah , Joy Fox, Cameron Moquin, Sarah Morgenthau and David Segal.

“Not to take away anything else from the other candidates, again… all good candidates,” Langevin said. “But, looking at it in the categories of good, better, best, Seth Magaziner is the best candidate in this race.”

A poll conducted for the Boston Globe by Suffolk University released this week shows Magaziner as the leading contender among Democrats in the Second congressional district race, but Magaziner trailing Republican Fung in a head-to-head match-up, 44% to 38%.

Fung’s campaign issued a statement responding to Magaziner, criticizing him for advocating for increasing taxes on gasoline, drivers permits for undocumented residents and said that he “supports those who want to defund the police.” Fung’s agenda is the agenda of hard working people who just want gas prices to go down, our grocery stores to be full and our streets safe, the statement said.