Challenger emerges for GOP chairmanship

David Cote, chairman of the South Kingstown Republican Town Committee, and Joe White, who holds the same post in North Kingstown, didn't return N4N's inquiries last week when I contacted them by e-mail and telephone. The whispers, though, are true, as noted yesterday by Belo Blog: Cote and White are running, respectively, for the chair and vice chair of the Rhode Island Republican Party.

As first reported here, Giovanni Cicione claims Governor Carcieri's support for the chairmanship (muddying the waters, Cicione also told me that Cote told him he wouldn't pursue the seat if Cicione went for it), yet the ProJo says the gov has been unwilling to publicly comment on this.

The state Republic Committee meeting is slated for March 15, at the Radisson Airport Hotel in Warwick, and the fight for the chair seems to be shaping up as a clash between the moderate wing, as represented by Cicione, and the more conservative element, as represented by Cote and White.

Belo Blog also reported that Portsmouth businessman John Robitaille, who lost by four votes last November to state Representative Amy Rice of Middletown, is also seeking the vice chair post.

Although Cote and White didn't send their release to the Phoenix (you're going to miss out on that crucial liberal support, boys!), here are some of the pertinent details, as obtained through another source.

From Cote's description of his vision for the RI GOP:

As a Director of one of the largest technology corporations in the world with responsibility for $500 million in annual revenue, a 24 year veteran of the high tech industry, and a graduate of Seton Hall University with a Master of Business Administration, I have experience of how to run the RIGOP like a successful business where appropriate.


My vision for the RI GOP is the product of my success as Chairman of the South Kingstown Republican Town Committee.  Before I became Chair of SK GOP in 2005, it was inactive.  The Committee regularly failed to generate a quorum for meetings, and its fundraising numbers were insufficient.


Today, the SKGOP is the fastest growing Republican Town Committee in Rhode Island.  It is the second largest RTC in RI by total numbers, and the largest by monthly attendance.  Fundraising was up by more than 400% after my first term.  This could only have been achieved by uniting the existing members and successfully recruiting new members.

 Some top points on message development:


    1. Focus on the Republican Party’s fundamental principles of fiscal responsibility, lower taxes, and limited growth of government (Refer to recent RIGOP Platform). 
    2. Respond immediately to the media on everyday events that violate our core Republican platform.
    3. Support Governor Carcieri’s policies and defend his efforts to reform government and remove the status quo.
    4. Lead the way on issues important to the Governor in which he is determining the pulse of both our citizens and elected officials.
    5. Build on the recent RIGOP platform to create an identity for Republicans in Rhode Island.  Expand to recruit organizations that naturally would fit with the Republican Party such as tax groups, government reform groups, etc.
    6. Conduct polling research to refine points of communication for Republican candidates in targeted districts.
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