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In New England, Republicans Push to Flip More Seats as Moderates

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PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — Former Mayor Alan Fong, who will become the first Republican to represent the city in Congress in more than 20 years, was undeterred by his supporters on a recent Thursday night when he climbed five feet. ) could not walk. From the Crowne Plaza lobby to the tent where local business owners gathered to meet him.

In nearby Connecticut, former Republican state senator George Logan, switching effortlessly between Spanish and English, went door-to-door telling voters in suburban New Britain that he wanted tax cuts.

“We want to work with Democrats and Republicans,” former state senator Logan said in an interview between doorknocks. “No member of parliament or a single woman can agree 100% on every issue.”

Farther north in Maine, former Congressman Bruce Polikin said in an ad that he wanted to bring back “Maine common sense” to Congress, and he has called on the party’s We strive to distance ourselves from extreme right-wing trends. Jared Golden representative four years ago.

As Republicans aggressively push their midterm home grounds, they step up their efforts to win seats in New England, which once boasted a proud tradition of electing independence-minded Republicans. It’s slipping these days.The reach of the party leaning to the right.

They have done this by promoting candidates who assert themselves as centrists with broad appeal, a brand that is distinct from the far-right figures and electoral deniers that make up the critical mass of the Republican party. A majority of cycles in favor of the Republican Party.

In recent years, Shiba has been largely unfriendly to Republicans. Republican lawmakers in New England were all but wiped out in 2006, with Republicans winning just one of the region’s 22 House elections. After that, the party was completely shut out. This made Senator Susan Collins of Maine the only Republican in New England.

Now, Republican leaders are working to revive the party’s status, along with throngs of estranged but critical voters in regions who favor politicians who don’t act in tandem with national parties.

And Democrats, who have watched with vigilance as the Republican Party gains momentum, say that while these New Englanders may seem mainstream, electing them would empower radical Republicans. is in a hurry to persuade

In an interview, Democrat and former teacher and state treasurer Seth McGagher, who is running against Mr. Fong for vacancies in southern and central Rhode Island, said the opposition’s support for former President Donald J. Trump and the nation’s raised opposition to Marriage Equality Act as proof that Mr. Fong is not a centrist.

“Republicans are trying to moderate people who aren’t moderates.” “That wasn’t his record.”

Top Republicans are free to spend to enhance the chances of New England Republicans.

Last week, the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC in partnership with California Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy, tripled its investment by pumping another $1 million into Mr. Huang’s campaign. Calvin Moore, a spokesman for the group, said PAC spent his $3.5 million on Logan and his $5.5 million on Poliquin.

Mr. McCarthy traveled to Rhode Island in August to raise money for Mr. Fong. Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise attended a fundraiser for Mr. Fong last week.

How do Times reporters report politics? We trust journalists to be independent observers. As such, Times staff members may vote, but are not permitted to endorse or campaign for any candidate or political cause. This includes participating in marches or rallies in support of causes, making donations or fundraising to political candidates or electoral causes.

New York State Rep. Elise Stefanik, the third-ranked Republican who denies the 2020 election was fair, also attended this month’s fundraising event with Logan.

One of the reasons the region is favored by Republicans is the make-up of the voters. Between one-third and one-half of New England registered voters do not belong to a political party. They have long been known to reward politicians who reach out across the political aisle, like Mr Collins and Maine independent Senator Angus King, both of whom are bipartisan. I am involved in negotiations and support Democrat-led legislation.

Samantha Bullock, a spokesperson for the National Republican Congressional Committee, said Republicans should not allow disgruntled Democrats and independent voters to run “local elections” to check Democratic dominance in their states. He said he hopes to look to “a Republican candidate who will act and deliver a more realistic message.”

During a recent debate, Mr. Logan, who is challenging second-term Democratic Rep. Jahana Hayes, described himself as a “Republican from Connecticut.” He blamed the Biden administration’s economic policies and blamed the Democrats’ huge spending bills for rising inflation. But he appeared to share Hayes’ views on some issues, saying he supports infrastructure investment and abortion rights.

Logan told reporters he does not believe Congress has the constitutional authority to codify Roe v. Wade.

In Rhode Island, Fung, the first Chinese-American elected mayor of Cranston and two-time gubernatorial candidate, campaigns to fight inflation and improve public safety . In an interview, Feng said he supports the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill President Biden signed into law last year, as well as industrial policy measures enacted over the summer, and a law that protects access to abortion.

Denying that he had changed his position to appear more moderate, he said Democrats were “executing a lot of this national formulaic strategy, and I don’t fit into their mold.”

Mr. Polikin may not be the most moderate of the three. He has worked more closely with Trump and has taken conservative stances on social issues such as opposition to gun control measures.

National Democrats are spending billions to counter Republican forays into New England, trying to portray Mr. Fong and other Republican candidates as far removed from the mainstream. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Allied Political Action Committee have raised more than $2.3 million in Rhode Island districts, $3.6 million in Hayes’ districts, and $3.6 million in Golden’s election, according to a Democratic Commission spokesman. We spent nearly $10 million on the ward.

The Democrat advert features Mr. Fong smiling in a Trump beanie. Advertisements against Mr. Polikin highlight his support for the ban on abortion, including his previous support for laws banning abortions after 20 weeks of gestation.

Also in Waterbury, Connecticut, Hayes’ campaign staff said, “Logan [hearts] Trump. After the debate, Hayes told reporters he would invite moderate House leaders to campaign in their districts, as Logan did earlier this month, or join Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show. He said he wouldn’t have appeared and delivered a message.

“He is closely tied to the national Republican leader,” she said. “They are supporting his campaign with millions of dollars.”

Not all voters are swayed by connections.

Connecticut anesthesiologist and independent voter Dr. Earl Bueno likened the Republican candidate to one of the state’s Democratic senators and said he supported Logan.

Dr. Bueno said, “I don’t see him as an extremist the way people portray him now.” “I support George Logan because, like Senator Chris Murphy, you can actually reach out to him and have a conversation with him.”

Some Democrats, in the final weeks of the campaign, have elected Republicans to remind voters that even moderate Republicans can take control of Congress. I rely on

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat from Rhode Island, made that point at Mr. Magazine’s recent dinner at a golf course in Providence.

“Please,” he told a group of voters at a dinner, “Don’t let Alan Fong vote for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.”

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