Langevin: I may run for governor, but not in 2018

Congressman Jim Langevin speaks during an interview on WPRI 12's Newsmakers in May 2015.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democratic Congressman Jim Langevin could try to put another office on his resumé someday.

In an interview Friday with Harvard College radio host Andrew Zucker, Langevin said he wouldn’t rule out a run for governor of Rhode Island in the future.

“Not in 2018,” Langevin told Zucker during a taping of the WHRB “As We Know It” program. “I’m certainly going to be focused on running for re-election in 2018, and we have a Democratic governor in Rhode Island right now, and I know that she’s very much focused on job training and growing jobs here in Rhode Island, so I support that agenda.”

“I certainly wouldn’t rule out a run for governor at some point in the future, but right now I’m focused on doing my job in Congress,” he added.

By ruling out a challenge to Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo in 2018, Langevin’s soonest chance for a gubernatorial run would be in 2022 – the same year Rhode Island’s two U.S. House seats could be reduced to one due to stagnant population growth.

In 2015, Eyewitness News reported that Rhode Island is “very likely” to lose one of its two U.S. House seats when maps are redrawn after the 2020 Census, citing an analysis by demographers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The change would force the two sitting Democratic congressman, Langevin and David Cicilline, to face off in a primary, presuming both want to maintain their seats.

Todd Adams, Langevin’s chief of staff, downplayed the congressman’s comments on Sunday.

“Congressman Langevin was speaking in pure hypotheticals,” Adams told Eyewitness News in an email. “His focus is on representing his constituents in the 2nd Congressional District and he has no immediate plans to seek election to another office.”

Langevin, 52, has been a member of Congress since 2001. Before that he was twice elected statewide as Rhode Island’s secretary of state, and he previously served as a state representative.