The Brothers Problem

Attorney General Patrick Lynch's departure from the gubernatorial race would seem to be a plus for his brother Bill Lynch, the former state Democratic Party chief running for Congress. There was some concern, after all, that voters wouldn't vote for two brothers on the same ballot.

But it says here that the conventional wisdom was overblown. Rhode Islanders, like voters in most states, have a healthy appreciation for political families. Just ask Congressman Patrick Kennedy, Treasurer Frank Caprio, Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Roberts, and former senator-turned-gubernatorial candidate Lincoln Chafee. Of course, none of these folks had to run on a statewide ballot alongside a sibling. But really, would it have made that much of a difference?

The success of the brothers Lynch was always more about their track records and talents as campaigners than anything else. Patrick Lynch obviously came up short on that front. We'll see how his brother fares.

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