By Steve Klamkin WPRO News
Five prominent former Republicans stood alongside Seth Magaziner, the Democratic nominee Wednesday, saying he would be better suited to represent the state from the Second District.
Former State Senator Dawson Hodgson, former state Representative Bob Nardolillo, Cranston Councilman Robert Ferri and former Republican gubernatorial candidate Vincent Marzullo joined Magaziner at his Warwick campaign headquarters, where Hodgson read a letter of support from Claudine Schneider, the former Republican Congresswoman. All declared that Republican nominee Allan Fung would be unable to resist pressure from GOP leaders on a wide range of issues.
Hodgson praised Fung on a personal basis, but questioned his ability to resist pressure from party leaders.
“When I was in the state Senate, he was more than gracious and supportive. And, from what I can tell, it looks like he did a fine job as Mayor of Cranston. But Allan Fung is the wrong man at the wrong time,” Hodgson said.
“There is no other path for a Republican to get elected than to convince Rhode Islanders that they’ll be a moderate. That they won’t be like the group in Washington. But there is nothing in Allan’s record as a leader, that would suggest that’s what he’s going to deliver on,” Hodgson said.
Magaziner said a vote for Fung would enable the most extreme MAGA elements of the Republican party in Washington. He praised the five, most of whom said they had left the Republican party.
“What they are doing today takes courage. It’s always a hard thing to go against your party in normal times, but as has been said, we are not living in normal times, and it’s even harder now,” Magaziner said. “Look what happened to Liz Cheney,” the former Wyoming Congresswoman who was ostracized by party leaders and lost her recent primary election to a supporter of former President Donald Trump.
“The Republican Party of today is not the same Republican Party it was when I represented the Rhode Island second congressional district in the 1980s,” said Schneider in a statement read at the news conference. “The GOP in Washington has become the party of insurrectionist Donald Trump, and it is directly at odds with the values of Rhode Islanders. Now more than ever, we need a leader of integrity who will work to turn the page on extremism. That leader is Seth Magaziner.”
Steven Paiva, Political Director for the Allan Fung for Congress campaign issued a statement in response:
“Seth is so desperate to talk about anything other than the failed Biden, Pelosi, Magaziner agenda that he is now resorting to asking so-called “extreme MAGA supporters” and big oil consultants to save his campaign. Hypocrisy aside, Seth is so obsessed with the past that he pays no concern to the disastrous state of our economy today. Allan remains laser focused on winning the support of working class Rhode Islanders that have been left behind by Magaziner and his DC insiders who put our economy in shambles.”