RI-01: AP Source Says Patrick Kennedy Will Retire

Huh, wow:

A Democratic official says Rep. Patrick Kennedy has decided not to seek re-election for his seat representing Rhode Island in the U.S. Congress.

The official spoke to The Associated Press only on the condition that his name not be used because he was not authorized to speak ahead of the official announcement. …

Patrick Kennedy has been in and out of treatment for substance abuse since crashing his car outside the U.S Capitol in 2006. Still, he has been comfortably re-elected twice since then, after making mental health care his signature issue in Washington.

Kennedy sought treatment as recently as the middle of last year, so his recurring problems may be a reason for his decision to depart. It’s also worth noting that a recent poll pegged his re-elects at a not-so-hot 35-28. Republican state Rep. John Loughlin had already announced a challenge to Kennedy; he has $110K in the bank. Presumably, many names will line up on the Dem side, as this D+13 district gave 65% of its vote to Barack Obama and 62% to John Kerry.

RaceTracker Wiki: RI-01

115 thoughts on “RI-01: AP Source Says Patrick Kennedy Will Retire”

  1. I live in RI-01 and I did not see this coming at all. (granted I spend most of my time in Illinois where I go to school.) I hope my state Sen. Rhoda Perry runs to replace him, she is ultra-progressive and would be a great congresswoman, but I have no idea if she would consider it. (sadly this may pave the way for Buddy Cianci. UGH!)

  2. Could the next congress really be the 1st COngress since JFK was elected to the House in ’46 that there will be no Kennedy serving? This is disappointing that the most famous family in US History is starting to “die” down. I guess Teddy’s death did indeed mark the end of an era.  

  3. Patrick Kennedy has been such a great advocate on mental health issues and every bit just as progressive as his father. There were rumors earlier this week that Bill Delahunt would retire in nearby MA-10 and that Joe Kennedy III will run to replace him, so we won’t necessarily be Kennedy-less after all though.

  4. to get a Kennedy to run right now.  Get Joe Kennedy III to run in the MA-10 (rumor about that going on).  That will ensure that seat doesn’t get competitive.. and we get to keep a Kennedy in government.  

  5.     I know that that republicans were making some noise about seriously challenging him this year. But still it would have been extremely difficult to unseat him. I wonder if he would have been retiring if his father was alive and well.

  6. I felt extremely bad for him over the years with his substance sbuse problems and that and his dad passing probally put him over the line to end it. Luckically he dosen’t come from a swing district so we should have no problem holding down the fort here but stil sad to see him go.

    Best of luck in your future endevors Pat.

  7. While looking at the Providence Journal for some more news on Kennedy’s retirement I came across this.


    PROVIDENCE, R.I. — After seven years at the height of political power in Rhode Island, West Warwick Democrat William J. Murphy has stepped down to make way for lawyer Gordon D. Fox – who has been his top deputy and chosen successor — to take his place at the rostrum.

    With Murphy’s departure now official, the full House is poised to elevate Fox, 48, from House majority leader to what many consider the most powerful political position in the state. He would become the state’s first black and first openly gay House Speaker.

  8. There is a host of high-profile Democrats who may be interested in the seat, according to political observers, such as Providence Mayor David N. Cicilline, Democratic Party Chairman William Lynch, Cumberland Mayor Daniel J. McKee and Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts.


  9. for Democrats to hold a seat without Kennedy with his numerous problems, which his opponents always try to exploit, then with him. Democratic bench in this district is extremely long and it’s very difficult for Republican to win it (though i remember Ron Machtley, who held this district for some terms, so it’s not impossible). But, please, not Myrth York again – she may lose to everybody and his cat too…

  10. if Charlie Cook is a biased son of a gun after all.  He refused to move MI-3 (R+6 PVI) out from Solid R, and though no statement has been made yet on it, it appears that FL-25 (R+5 PVI) has moved away from Solid R either.  

    If RI-1 (D+13) moves from Solid D, it’ll prove that the cronies at Cook Political Report are just as bad as Scott Rasmussen, maybe worse.  How can you move a D+13 seat but not an R+5?!  

  11. It smacks of jealousy and pettiness. I have a lot of respect for the family members who would devote their lives to a profession which led to the assassinations of JFK and RFK. At least we won’t have to hear the anti-kennedy whiners anymore. Good luck to Patrick Kennedy.  

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