Well, things just heated up in Rhode Island’s 2018 race for US Senate. Kathy Gregg has the scoop in the Providence Journal.
Robert G. Flanders, a former Rhode Island Supreme Court justice, respected Providence trial lawyer and onetime Brown University football star, has taken the first step toward a potential GOP run for the U.S. Senate against two-term Democratic incumbent Sheldon Whitehouse.
This is somewhat out of the blue: rumors where that Justice Flanders was considering, at the urging of RIGOP Chair Brandon Bell, a run for Governor. Justice Flanders isn’t technically announcing his candidacy, as Gregg notes, but rather, he
plans to create an “exploratory committee” to determine whether he will be able to muster the money and support he would need for a potential GOP primary fight and, ultimately, a 2018 run against Whitehouse.
He is certainly clear as to why he sees the need to run, however, as he indicates to Gregg in a statement that includes a nice little zing at the incumbent.
“With the unease and hyper-partisan political environment in Washington,” Flanders said, Rhode Island needs a U.S. senator who “will work across the aisle to unlock innovation and job growth, provide a system of high quality and affordable health care, reform unfair and anti-competitive tax policies, lift regulatory burdens off the backs of small business, promote better education and enhance our security by restoring global confidence in America.”
“In short, we need a climate change in Washington,” he said in a play-on-words on Whitehouse’s signature issue.
If his candidacy is a go, he will first face off in a primary against State Representative Robert A. Nardolillo III (R-Coventry).