Former state representative for Cranston Bob Lancia announced his campaign for Rhode Island’s second congressional district on Monday, pitting him against longtime representative Jim Langevin.
Lancia, 66, sat as the representative for District 16 from 2015 to 2018, losing his election in 2018 by 327 votes. Lancia is currently the outreach coordinator for the Rhode Island Republican Party.
“My top issue is going to be to try to get our out of control spending under control,” Lancia said in an interview with 990WBOB. “It’s unsustainable. For our children, for our grandchildren, we got to get that under control.”
Lancia said that he holds four degrees, including a degree in elementary education, and was a Navy chaplain. He worked in the Rhode Island taxation division for 12 years and taught for a year as a day-to-day substitute in the Providence school system.
“My focus has been finance and education for most of my life,” said Lancia.
In Congress, Lancia would push for 911 fee reform, as he did in the Rhode Island legislature. He’d also like to see no taxes on veteran pensions or social security and would advocate for Education Freedom Scholarships, a tax credit for businesses and individuals who donate to scholarship granting organizations.
“Bob is willing to go anywhere, everywhere, listen to constituents’ concerns and do the right thing,” said Sue Cienki, the chairman of the Rhode Island GOP, in an interview with 990WBOB. “He has more energy than anybody that I have ever met.”
“We need to find out where the waste, abuse and fraud is,” said Cienki. “I know that he will go in and fight and look for ways to cut spending at the federal level.”
Lancia also wants to end wars in the Middle East.
“I’m from the Vietnam era, and it’s almost Vietnam-esq, what we’re hearing,” said Lancia.
While Lancia is pro-life and pro-second amendment, he doesn’t believe that those issues are as important as the ballooning federal deficit.
“We’re getting hung up, bogged down, with those two issues,” said Lancia. “Nothing’s going to matter if we’re not getting our finances under control.”
Both Lancia and Cienki contend that Lancia lost his seat in 2018 because he was targeted by the Democrats, and that voters should trust him over Democrats.
“We’ve got a speaker that there’s controversies swirling around him, and we’ve got all these Democratic legislators up there that are not speaking out against him,” said Cienki. “Why would you vote for another Democrat in this state when they are lockstop following the speaker of the house?”
To be successful in winning seats this election, Lancia said that the Republican party must reach out to everyone.
“We’re a party of all white people,” said Lancia. “Until we’re getting into the communities and being a part of those communities, we’re not gonna get any seats.”
In his closing pitch, Lancia said, “I’m like a dog on a pant leg. When I get onto something, I don’t give up.”
“I ask the question, in 19 years, what is [Langevin’s] signature pieces of legislation?” Lancia continued. “He hangs his hat on cyber security. Not enough, not when Rome is burning.”
Langevin spokesman Victor Morente issued the following statement to the Providence Journal: “Congressman Langevin is honored to represent Rhode Island’s Second Congressional District and remains committed to fighting for the issues that matter to Rhode Islanders in Washington.”
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