By Ted Nesi
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The 80-year-old former lawmaker who challenged state Sen. Frank Ciccone in the last three elections says she won’t seek a rematch in November, but she’s shocked by allegations that her former opponent tried to intimidate police.
“How could anybody be so stupid?” Catherine Graziano, a Democratic state senator from 1993 to 2002, told WPRI.com on Tuesday. “If you’re going to do something like that, don’t do that in public.”
“God love ‘em, I give those police officers a lot of credit,” said Graziano, a retired Salve Regina University nursing professor who lives in Providence. “They didn’t bend, they didn’t bow. They did just what they were supposed to do, and now it’s something people are talking about.”
Graziano unsuccessfully challenged Ciccone, D-Providence, for the Democratic nomination in Senate District 7 in both 2006 and 2008, coming within 194 votes of defeating him the second time. She ran against him again in 2010, this time in the general election as an independent, and lost in a landslide. But the senator victory didn’t come cheap.