Rhode Island Governor Endorses a Republican-Friendly Congressional Map

After the state’s Democratic Governor Dan McKee approved a congressional map on Friday, Republicans in Rhode Island have a new chance to win a seat in the United States House of Representatives. 

The 2nd Congressional District Seat

According to the new map, only small changes were made to the state’s districts and major cities were not moved. This means the unoccupied 2nd Congressional District seat in the state could be filled in the forthcoming midterm election.

Barbara Ann Fenton-Fung, a Republican representative who is also the wife of Allan Fung, GOP nominee for the 2nd Congressional District, expressed gratitude to the House Speaker for refraining from attempting to gerrymander the district boundaries.

In an interview with the Providence Journal, Fenton-Fung stated, “I think a lesser individual might well have tried to play some games; the reality the bills passed as they did says a lot regarding your management in Rhode Island, where we have been used to games happening.”

The map, as well as a map of the General Assembly, was approved by the Democrat-led state legislature this past week. It was approved by a vote of 58-8 in the House of Representatives and a vote of 29-9 in the Senate.

Just after the most recent census, the state’s seat count remained at two. Jim Langevin, a Democrat, represented the 2nd Congressional District for more than two decades.

Earlier this month, he published an opinion piece in which he announced his resignation. 

Lower Democratic Lean

In recent years, both of the state’s congressional seats have been considered safe for Democrats. However, the 2nd District has a lower Democratic lean than the 1st District. 

Democrat David Cicilline was reelected in the 1st Congressional District of New York in the 2020 election with more than 71 percent of the vote, as an example.

Bob Lancia, a Republican contender who had less brand recognition than Fung, finished second in the 2nd District with approximately 58 percent of the vote.

He declared his candidacy for the 2nd District last week, after previously running ineffectively for governor against Gina Raimondo in 2014 and 2018.

Formerly the mayor of Cranston, Rhode Island’s second-largest city and its capital, from 2009 to 2021, he was elected to the state Senate in 2011. 

Currently, he is competing in the primary against Lancia and state Sen. Jessica de la Cruz. Some analysts believe in their respective primaries for the seat, Democratic state Treasurer Seth Magaziner, and Fung are the front-runners in their respective primaries.

Counting the state of Rhode Island, there are only eight states that have not put in place legally operative congressional layouts, accounting for nearly 100 congressional seats in the process.

FiveThirtyEight says about a dozen of the 42 states that have legitimately working maps are in court fights that could change the maps. This could make the maps invalid.