By Paul Edward Parker
Journal Staff Writer
U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin declared his candidacy for reelection to Congress Tuesday morning, handing in papers at the secretary of state’s elections office.
“I love Rhode Island, and I feel passionate about public service,” Langevin said while chatting with reporters as his paperwork was processed. “There’s a lot of frustrations that go along with the job, certainly in this environment where it’s been so partisan. But I’m proud of the bipartisan record I have demonstrated.”
Langevin said the issues he will campaign on are familiar to those who have followed his career: career and technical education, cybersecurity and national security, especially the construction of Virginia-class submarines, which are built in Quonset Point and in Groton, Connecticut, by General Dynamics Electric Boat. “These are the things that I continue to focus on,” he said, adding that he also hopes to gain ground on campaign-finance reform and gun safety.
Langevin said he anticipated debates as part of the race. “I always make a point to debate my opponents,” he said. “I’ve always made a practice of making myself accessible to discuss the issues.”
The secretary of state’s office said that at least two opponents have begun the process of getting on the ballot: Democrat Steven Archer and independent Salvatore G. Caiozzo. Also, Republican Rhue Reis said on June 9 that he would challenge Langevin.
Langevin was elected to Congress in 2000, when Rep. Robert Weygand ran for the U.S. Senate. Langevin previously was a state representative and secretary of state. He represents Rhode Island’s Second Congressional District, which generally covers the state west of Narragansett Bay, except for parts of Providence and several communities in or near the Blackstone Valley.
Not long after Langevin declared his candidacy Tuesday morning, the Coventry Democratic Town Committee announced that it had endorsed Langevin at its meeting Monday night.
Several weeks ago, the state Democratic Party endorsed Langevin at its state convention.
“I haven’t lost my passion for public service,” Langevin told reporters Tuesday. “I got into this years ago … to give back and show my appreciation for the people of Rhode Island.”