Providence, R.I. Mayor David Cicilline, who is openly gay, announced today he will be a candidate for Congress. The two-term mayor began to consider running after U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) shocked political observers by announcing he would not run for reelection this year. Kennedy, son of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, was first elected to the seat in 1994. Cicilline will face state Democratic Party Chair William Lynch, who also announced his candidacy, and could face a number of other contenders.
Providence became one of the largest cities in the U.S. to elect an openly gay mayor when Cicilline won his 2002 election. He was easily reelected in 2006 amid national media attention for his work turning around the fortunes of Providence, which was once beset by high crime rates and corruption. Nationally syndicated political columnist David Broder wrote in 2006 about the city, “Something is happening here. A city long renowned for the rackets and graft is being cleaned up by a reform-minded mayor. The author of this turnaround is David Cicilline…”
Cicilline has been endorsed by the Victory Fund in each of his mayoral races.