The Great Ripple

My look at the wide-ranging fallout from Representative Patrick Kennedy's decision to stand down at the end of this term should be on-line shortly and will hit the newsstands tomorrow. The piece focuses on the likely contours of the race to replace Kennedy in Congress. But it also looks at the burgeoning race for Providence mayor, in the wake of incumbent David Cicilline's decision to run for Kennedy's spot. And it considers new House Speaker Gordon Fox's chance to make an imprint on the party in the wake of all the upheaval. I report, among other things, that Fox seems to be moving toward appointing Democratic political operative and Obama campaign veteran Jeffrey Padwa to the post of party chairman.

The recently departed Speaker, William J. Murphy, was never all that engaged in the behind-the-scenes work of building the party, insiders say. He focused instead on managing the House, leaving the party-building job to former party chairman Bill Lynch, who is now waging a campaign to replace Kennedy in Congress. Fox, though, is showing early signs of greater engagement. Indeed, he's been almost forced to wrestle with the responsibility after the recent tumult. Read the story for more.

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