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RI POLITICS

Former state Representative Pacheco joins race for Langevin’s Congressional District 2 seat

Former Providence Mayor Angel Taveras will serve as the honorary chair of Pacheco’s congressional campaign

Former Democratic state Representative Edwin R. Pacheco, a candidate for Congress.Handout

PROVIDENCE — Former state Representative Edwin R. Pacheco on Monday announced he will run for the 2nd Congressional District seat that US Representative James R. Langevin will soon vacate.

Pacheco, 40, who lives in Warwick, served as a Democratic state representative from Burrillville from 2005 to 2011, and he was chairman of the Rhode Island Democratic Party. He works as executive director of the Rhode Island College Foundation.

“Every day it feels as though we are being pulled further apart and the very fabric of our democracy is under attack,” Pacheco said. “Now more than ever, we can no longer sit on the sidelines. We must come together to advocate for what is best for our community, our state, and our nation.”

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Langevin, the first quadriplegic ever elected to Congress, announced last week that he will not seek a 12th term in office, saying that he wants to spend more time in Rhode Island. The 57-year-old was a heavy favorite to win reelection, and the rare open seat in one of the state’s two US House seats has unleashed a mid-winter blizzard of ambition.

A growing number of current and former public officials are expressing interest in running for the seat. Omar Bah, founder of the Refugee Dream Center in Providence, announced on Saturday that he is running as a Democrat.

Former state Representative Robert B. Lancia, a Cranston Republican who lost to Langevin in 2020, is running for the 2nd Congressional District seat again this year. But other Republicans might soon join him in the race, including former Cranston Mayor Allan W. Fung and Senator Jessica de la Cruz, a North Smithfield Republican.

Former Providence Mayor Angel Taveras will serve as honorary chair of Pacheco’s campaign. “I have known Ed for years, he is a person of integrity that will fight for us in Washington and will always listen to the diverse voices across our community,” Taveras said.

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The announcement included a list of 50 names on the Pacheco for Congress Campaign Committee, including state Representative Grace Diaz, a Providence Democrat and first vice chair of the state Democratic Party, former secretary of state Edward S. Inman III, and former state Senator Juan M. Pichardo, a Providence Democrat.

Pacheco’s announcement said he was raised by a single mother and understands the challenges facing many families.

“Together we can work to lift millions of children out of poverty, establish universal pre-K, help younger generations escape crushing debt through loan forgiveness, create good paying jobs by supporting the blue and green economy, fight for social justice, and support every American’s right to vote,” he said.

Pacheco previously worked as RIC’s associate vice president and interim vice president for college advancement and as executive director for Education in Action, an educational nonprofit. He graduated from the University of Rhode Island, and at age 19, he was elected to the Burrillville School Committee. He declared his candidacy for secretary of state in 2014 but later withdrew from the race.

Pacheco planned to open a federal campaign account on Monday. He currently has no money in his state campaign account.


Edward Fitzpatrick can be reached at edward.fitzpatrick@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @FitzProv.