Fung surges in Rhode Island CD2 polls

Democrats’ hopes of holding-on to second Congressional seat dimming

Posted 10/11/22

Former Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, a Republican, has emerged as the frontrunner in the race for Rhode Island’s second Congressional seat.

“People will vote their …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Fung surges in Rhode Island CD2 polls

Democrats’ hopes of holding-on to second Congressional seat dimming


Former Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, a Republican, has emerged as the frontrunner in the race for Rhode Island’s second Congressional seat.

“People will vote their pocket books,” said Johnston Mayor Joseph M. Polisena. “The economy is paramount on people’s minds.”

Last week, Polisena appeared on-stage with Fung’s opponent, Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner, a Democrat, as he accepted an endorsement from the National Committee to Protect Social Security and Medicare Political Action Committee (NCPSSM PAC).

“I always said before, this is a cheap seat to get,” Polisena said, referring to the Ocean State’s Second Congressional District seat, which will soon be vacated by long-serving Democrat Rep. Jim Langevin. “The national people don’t need to spend a lot of money, because Rhode Island is small. They don’t have to spend a lot of money to get momentum here in Rhode Island.”

The race has significant national importance, having been a solidly Democratic seat for decades, and could help sway the political balance within the U.S. House of Representatives. Langevin held the seat for 11 terms.

A new Boston Globe/Suffolk University poll out this week (a survey of 422 likely voters) has Fung up by 8 points (at 45 percent, compared to his opponent, Magaziner, at 37 percent). Only 5 percent of likely voters told pollsters they’re backing independent candidate William Gilbert.

Last week, a WPRI 12 News and Roger Williams University poll found a similar, 6-point gap between the candidates (with Fung in the lead).

“They’ve got a little under four weeks to get their message out there,” Polisena said. “It’s the economy, and the gas going up is not helping people at all.”

Warwick Mayor Frank Picozzi said he wasn't surprised by the poll.

In fact, Picozzi said he’s not surprised by anything this election season.

"It seems to be getting better and better," Picozzi said of Fung’s poll performance.

Does that mean Picozzi, an independent, will be endorsing Fung?

“I don't support anyone,” Picozzi answered.

Though that’s not completely true. Reminded of his endorsement of House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi, Picozzi said that's his one exception, because Shekarchi reached out to him immediately after his election and became helpful in navigating state government.

Current Cranston Mayor Ken Hopkins, a Republican, hopes to see Fung emerge victorious.

“I have been a friend and colleague of Allan Fung for many years,” Hopkins said in a written statement this week. “Allan is a quality individual and has proven to be talented and effective public servant. He will do a tremendous job in Washington for our City and State. I am most pleased that his message is being received so well by the voters of CD2 (Rhode Island’s second Congressional seat).”

On Tuesday, Fung vowed to continue working in a “bi-partisan fashion.”

“I’m positioned to win this race,” Fung said. “I’m laser-focused on the issues that affect the people of Rhode Island.”

Fung said his priorities will include getting cost of living increases “under control,” energy independence and building strong and safe neighborhoods.

“I’ll continue to be at the doors, at fairs and at festivals, constantly talking to them to,” Fung promised. “I think people know my track record after 12 years as mayor.”

Fung was elected as mayor of Cranston in 2008, and ran for Rhode Island governor in 2014, but was defeated by Democrat Gina Raimondo.

“I’ve worked with Democratic councils, and I’ve worked with Republican councils,” Fung said. “More importantly, I put the people and their problems first.”

Fung drew a distinction between his campaign and his opponent’s.

“My opponent is out there lying about me … because he is desperate and he has no platform,” Fung claimed. “(Magaziner) endorses the same policies from Washington DC that are failing people.”

Last Wednesday, Oct. 5, Mazaziner accepted the NCPSSM PAC endorsement from the organization’s President Max Richtman.

The NCPSSM calls itself “the nation’s leading advocacy group that fights to protect Social Security and Medicare,” and says “an estimated 192,000 Rhode Islanders currently receive social security benefits and for many seniors, it is their only source of income.”

“Kevin McCarthy and Republicans in Congress have made it clear that if they win control of the House, they intend to cut and privatize the Social Security and Medicare benefits that seniors have earned,” Richtman said. “We are proud to endorse Seth Magaziner because he will fight to protect Social Security and Medicare and stand up to anyone who tries to cut these programs that allows millions of Americans to retire with dignity.”

Voters will choose between Magaziner, Fung and Gilbert when early voting starts Oct. 19. Polls in the General Election open Nov. 8..

“Rhode Island seniors have paid into Social Security and Medicare — they earned the right to these benefits,” Magaziner said last week. “In Congress, I will fight to protect Social Security and Medicare from extreme Republicans determined to cut these vital programs. Rhode Islanders cannot afford Allan Fung enabling Kevin McCarthy’s extremist agenda.”

This week, Fung assured voters he would protect Social Security.

“I have a mom that’s retired, who relies on Social Security; one of millions of moms and dads relying on Social Security,” Fung said. “I’m never going to do something to hurt that system.”

Fung and former U.S. Presidential candidate and ex-Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie campaigned around the Ocean State through the Columbus Day weekend.

“The governor and I were out on the campaign trail,” Fung said. “I really appreciate him lending his name and his time to come out and campaign with me … I’m so glad he was willing to stand by my side.”

The pair was spotted at the Scituate Arts Festival and on Federal Hill for the Columbus Day Festival.

Christie said he may launch another run for President in 2024.

Polisena urged voters to hear both candidates out.

“First of all, polls don’t vote,” Polisena said. “Obviously Allan has been around a long time and Seth has been around a long time. It’s a dog fight. It’s interesting. Whoever gets their message out, gets their messages into the homes of the folks who come out and vote, will win.”

Cranston Herald Editor Emma Bartlett awnd Warwick Beacon Editor John Howell contributed to this story.

Fung, race


1 comment on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

  • KeepCalmandCarryOn

    I find it difficult to believe that Fung is ahead in the polls. If folks in the 2nd congressional district vote Fung in, they get what is coming.

    He will be a puppet for the Republicans in Congress if they take the house, and their right wing extremist agenda: voting for a national ban on a woman's right to chose, banning gay marriage (the SCOTUS is already poised to do this and Alito has said as much so it would be up to Congress to legislate the right for gays to marry). Don't think Social Security and Medicaid are on the chopping block? Just listen to what Republicans say.

    Oh and don't forget another tax cut for the Rich. Fung has refused to say, whether he voted for Trump and/or supports the Insurrectionist in Chief. If the Rs take the House you can forget about any accountability for the Orange Menace.

    Fung will be a lapdog for the Republican party which is comprised of Q Anon, Election Deniers, Christian Nationalists, and Putin supporters. Don't believe me?

    Why won't Fung answer the questions about his support for Trump????

    Because he will follow the right wing extremist pack...This goes for Carpetbagger Ashley Kalus as well!!

    Wondering how much his campaign paid Bill Gilbert to run as an Independent???

    Seth Magaziner is the only rational candidate!!

    again, if Fung gets in, Rhode Islanders get what they deserve.

    Sunday, October 16, 2022 Report this