Squid's Ink

Squid’s Ink: Congressional Campaign Crush

How much ruckus can a Rep Race ruck? In Rhode Island, the answer is a plethora. 

Following the announced resignation of David Cicilline from the US House of Representatives, more than 312 candidates have joined the fray. From politicians to plumbers, well-wishers to whack-jobs, the field is full – and still growing.

“I was first!” screamed Lt. Governor Sabina Matos, who announced her candidacy on March 13. “That means you have to vote for me!”

For a moment it seemed likely that Matos would step in and step up, but by April 1, more and more State Reps, City Councilors, and even a former RIPTA bus driver announced their intentions.

“No, vote for me!” screamed State Senator Sandra Cano. “I actually live in the First District.” 

“No, no, vote for me,” screamed former State Rep and proud father Aaron Regunberg. “Just because I’m an ambitious white male, doesn’t mean I’m not Progressive! I’m a real lawyer now, and I could have been governor!”

Democrats All? 

So far, every announced candidate has hung their hat on the Democratic Party’s rack.

“Vote for me!” screamed Allen Waters, the former Republican turned Democrat, who ran against Cicilline in 2022. “If you’d elected me last year, I’d still be in office!”

“Conventional wisdom says that a yellow dog has got a better shot of winning than a Republican,” explained political consultant Ima Freud. “So, whether you’re anti-abortion or pro-choice, calling yourself a Democrat is politically expedient.”

When asked why no Republicans have yet declared, Republican party leaders shrugged, shuffled their feet, and pretended to be hiding behind a large Ficus bush.

The Sweet and The Dead?

Once the floodgates were opened, more and more potential pols pushed out press releases. 

“Rhode Island’s election laws are very liberal,” said deceased Donald Trump Attorney Roy Cohn. “You don’t have to be alive to be on the ballot. Several recent governors have been little more than walking corpses.”

Defunct or devised Democrats running include:

  • A man named Del Lemonade who claimed, “I’m the sweet and cool candidate, with just a touch of chewy tang.”
  • Quahog Bivalve, a seven foot tall “trans clam” announced that it was “stuffed full of half-baked ideas on how to improve our economy.” Bivalve was recently hired to represent RI in airports around the US as a tourist attraction.
  • Meanwhile, Warren resident Cali Mari calls herself “The Unshelfish Candidate.” 
  • Motif’s own Philippe and Jorge promised  voters a margarita in every pot and pot for every “wicked pissah.”
  • On the South side of Wickenden Street, Caffy X Change screamed, “…get rid of all the drips and take the espresso lane to speed change.”
  • The entire Rhode Island Football Club is running as a team, screaming, “We just want to play ball!”
  • State Mascot, and Big Blue Bug, Nibbles Woodaway pledged to gnaw out inflation and undermine the influence of big money. 
  • At a recent séance, Cool Moose Robert J. Healey whispered that he would work to abolish the House of Representatives, while Perpetual Candidate Chris Young screamed that he would “Make Central Falls Great Again!”
  • Old Yeller (spoiler: deceased) just bayed at the moon.

Only A Few Not Interested…

Despite the open field, not everybody wants to be considered for higher office. Several prominent folk put their left foot in, then took their left foot out.

“Don’t vote for me!” shouted RI House Speaker Joseph Shekarchi. “I’m the most powerful man in Rhode Island politics, and I want to stay put.”

“Are not!” shouted RI State Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio.

Former Nun turned Former Attorney General Arlene Violet, also toyed with  the possibility, before realizing that she’d have to be crazy.

Finally, The Exhumed Toupee of Buddy Cianci combed itself over, rolled its eyes and said, “Naaah.”

Ballot Bedlam?

With primary day only four months away, on September 5, the Secretary of State’s Office has expressed concern about a confusing and unwieldy ballots. 

“Each candidate takes up roughly half an inch of space,” said graphic designer Anny Onomous. “That’s at least seven double-sided pages of candidates! Postage costs for mail-in ballots will be astronomical, and we expect long lines and quickly filled ballot boxes for in-person voters.”

With so many people running in this off-year election, it is estimated that a candidate could win with as few as 4,539 votes. [Really? In that case we hope to see the squid’s hat – er, helmet? – in the ring – ed.]