Doherty hires Cicione and Coupe to run U.S. House campaignOctober 3rd, 2011 at 1:05 pm by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes
Brendan Doherty has brought in former Rhode Island Republican Party Chairman Giovanni Cicione and the party’s former executive director, Robert Coupe, to run his congressional campaign.
Doherty hired Adams Point Advisors, a Barrington-based political consulting firm the pair founded last spring, to take charge of his 1st Congressional District campaign as of Oct. 1, Cicione said. Cicione will serve as campaign manager and spokesman, and Coupe will serve as political director and press secretary.
Doherty had been relying on volunteers led by his friend RDW Group’s Dante Bellini Jr. to manage his campaign since he entered the race in May. The former state police colonel is also employing consultants from OnMessage Inc. for media and Johnston Consulting of Vermont for fundraising.
Cicione was former Gov. Donald Carcieri’s choice to lead the Rhode Island GOP, which he wound up doing from 2007 to 2011, when he was succeeded by Ken McKay. (Carcieri is supporting Doherty.) Coupe served as a policy advisor and spokesman for the late U.S. Sen. John Chafee, the father of independent Gov. Lincoln Chafee.
Cicione rejected the idea that Doherty’s personnel moves signal the 1st District race will be a battle between the party’s moderate Chafee/Avedisian wing and its conservative Loughlin/Costa contingent.
“I don’t think Governor Carcieri would take it well if you told him he was a moderate Republican, and honestly I don’t consider myself one either,” Cicione said. “I consider myself a strong conservative. So if there’s a conservative wing, the former governor and I and a few others would probably constitute it.”
“That being said, I also don’t think John Loughlin or Brendan Doherty or really anybody has really been out there talking about whether they’re more conservative or less conservative,” Cicione added. “Those are questions that will be asked if and when there are debates.”
Doherty has raised about $385,000 since launching his campaign in May. He had $270,233 on hand while Republican opponent John Loughlin had $302 as of June 30, according to Federal Election Commission filings.
Cicione first got involved in Republican politics when he agreed to run against former Congressman Patrick Kennedy in 1996 after no other challengers stepped forward, according to a 2006 Providence Phoenix profile.
Update: Anchor Rising blogger Marc Comtois points out the divide between Doherty and Loughlin may be less between conservatives and moderates and more between the party establishment and those outside it.
Update #2: Cicione says he’ll only be working for Doherty on a part-time basis. “It’s a consulting agreement, so at this point at least it’s not full-time, though obviously as things gear up and we get closer to the election, it’s going to take up more and more time,” he told WPRI.com.
More 1st District campaign coverage on Nesi’s Notes:
- Farrelly brother to headline Doherty fundraiser in Lincoln (Oct. 3)
- Doherty should quit RI-1 race, top RI House Republican says (Sept. 26)
- Doherty, Loughlin, Cicilline race to raise cash as quarter closes (Sept. 23)
- Doherty, Loughlin slam Obama deficit plan Cicilline welcomed (Sept. 21)
- Secretary of State: GOP can’t close Doherty-Loughlin primary (Aug. 18)
- Loughlin’s inside game to win the Republican nomination (July 26)