Republican Loughlin may challenge Cicilline

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Congressman David Cicilline may have a serious challenger in 2014 after all.

John Loughlin, a former Republican state representative whom Cicilline defeated by six percentage points in 2010, said Tuesday he is considering challenging the two-term incumbent later this year. Loughlin said he will make a final decision in the “very near future” and could declare his candidacy as soon as next week.

“People have been asking me and I’m going to consider it and make a decision,” Loughlin told

Loughlin, who turned 55 last month, was considered a favorite to run against Democrat Cicilline in 2012, but decided to return to active military service in Iraq for seven months in 2011. When he returned, he announced he wouldn’t run for Congress and backed former State Police Col. Brendan Doherty in the race.

Doherty lost to Cicilline by 12 percentage points amid a local landslide for President Obama.

Loughlin served three terms in the Rhode Island House of Representatives before running for Congress. He currently owns communications firm Media-Rite LLC and works as a Saturday morning talk show host on WPRO-AM. He said he would not have to give up the show unless he formally declares for Congress.

Loughlin said he plans to discuss his political future with his family and attempt to raise the funds necessary to run a competitive campaign, but acknowledged that he is in a race against time.

“Most congressional campaigns don’t begin in April before the election,” Loughlin said. “I’m a little behind.”

Cicilline, a vice chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, served two terms as mayor of Providence before winning retiring Congressman Patrick Kennedy’s old seat in 2010. He kicked off his re-election campaign at a private fundraiser on the East Side last weekend.

While Loughlin’s name recognition and fundraising ability would likely make him Cicilline’s most formidable challenger, other candidates have emerged in the race.

Democrat Matt Fecteau, independent Jonathan Maciel and Republicans Cormick Lynch and Stan Tran have all said they plan to be on the ballot later this year.

This report has been updated

Dan McGowan ( ) covers politics, education and the city of Providence for Follow him on Twitter: @danmcgowan

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