By TRACEY O’NEILL
Special to the Standard
Rhode Island’s 2nd Congressional District finds incumbent James R. Langevin facing off against his Republican challenger, Michael Riley, founder of a Rhode Island-based investment firm.
Riley, a candidate from Narragansett who made a bid previous bid for Rhode Island Senate in 2010, has never achieved higher office. In a recent debate with Langevin, he was asked about his ability to represent District 2 at the House level. Known for his experience as founder of the Rhode Island Hedge Fund Association, he extolled what he said was his business experience and extensive knowledge of economics as
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qualifiers for the position as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Not seeing his lack of experience in the political arena as a negative, Riley set forth his prior positions on the Narragansett Charter Review Commission and Pension Board as political attributes.
“I am 56 years old,” Riley said. “[This] position would be an entry level position for me.”
Langevin, a seasoned Congressman who has served in the position for 12 years, previously served as Rhode Island Secretary of State from 1994 until being elected to the House in 2000. Langevin currently sits on several legislative committees, including the Armed Services and Intelligence. He is a ranking member of the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities.
The Congressman, who has a been a strong proponent of Cybersecurity initiatives, cofounder of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus and co-chair of the bipartisan CSIS Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency, recently lauded the State of Rhode Island for its work in development and implementation of a statewide strategic plan.
Langevin received several key endorsements in the past few weeks, including that of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM) and has been travelling the State, presenting the benefits of the Medicare program to the country’s senior population.
“We must continue to make strides in controlling Medicare costs to maintain our promises to current and future seniors, and I’ve supported ways to shore up this program by increasing its efficiency,” Langevin explained at a recent visit to the Cranston Senior Center. Opposed to the plan being put forth as the “Ryan” plan, Langevin urged citizens to avail themselves of a recent Kaiser Family Foundation Study, setting forth increased costs for the medicare population.
At opposite sides of the fence on the economy, job creation and health, the two candidates are in a heated battle for the top spot on Tuesday.
The two are joined on the ballot by Independent Candidate Abel Collins, who says he is running for Congress because “the future of our economy, our democracy, and our planet are all imperiled.
“Rather than addressing these problems, Republicans and Democrats have been playing partisan political games that serve only to keep them in power. I am running as an Independent so that I am beholden to no party and can work strictly for my constituents to create a durable economy and a healthy environment for generations to come.”