PROVIDENCE — “I’m back.”
That was the message former Cranston Mayor Allan W. Fung delivered Friday, making it clear that he plans to run for the 2nd Congressional District seat.
In an email, the Republican said that he planned to file documents with the Federal Election Commission, opening a “Friends of Allan Fung” account so he can raise money to run for the seat that Democratic Representative James R. Langevin is leaving at year’s end.
“We will have an official campaign launch in the near future, at which time I will share my vision with all of you,” Fung wrote. “For now, just know that ‘I’m back,’ and we’re going to work hard every single day to get our country back on track so that your family and mine can live the great American Dream.”
He also tweeted a “Fung for Congress” logo with his two-word announcement.
“I’m back.” pic.twitter.com/TujgX23el6— Mayor Allan Fung (@AllanFungRI) February 11, 2022
Fung served as mayor of Cranston from 2009 to 2020. He lost the 2014 and 2018 gubernatorial races to former governor Gina M. Raimondo, a Democrat who left the State House in March to become President Joe Biden’s Secretary of Commerce.
Fung has shown he can win the 2nd Congressional District before. In the 2014 gubernatorial race, he beat Raimondo in that part of the state, receiving 40.6 percent of the vote while Raimondo got 36.4 percent.
But he also has shown he can lose the district. In 2018, Raimondo beat Fung in the 2nd Congressional District, taking 47.2 percent of the vote to Fung’s 42.6 percent.
Fung, 51, is married to state Representative Barbara Ann Fenton-Fung, a Cranston Republican who defeated former House Speaker Nicholas A. Mattiello in the 2020 race in House District 15.
“When I ran for Mayor in Cranston, I did so because I saw my beloved city was headed down the wrong path, and I knew I could help right the ship,” he wrote in an email. “With hard work over the next 12 years, we turned it around. We stabilized Cranston’s finances, and transformed it into one of the Top 50 Cities to Live in America.”
Now, Fung said, he senses that the nation is headed in the wrong direction.
“From record setting inflation that is robbing you of your hard-earned dollars in the grocery stores and at the gas pump, to a feeling that we are less safe at home, it’s just not working for your family or mine,” he wrote. “Instead of focusing on the problems weighing on people each night at the dinner table, DC politicians spend their time attacking one another with the same old talking points.”
In an age of “hyper partisan politicians,” Fung argued that “We need a problem solver. We need leaders who are willing to work with people on both sides of the aisle to bring common sense solutions to our everyday problems. I did just that in Cranston, and I can’t wait to do that for you as your next Congressman.”
Fung joins a field of candidates that includes former state Representative Robert B. Lancia, a fellow Cranston Republican, and state Senator Jessica de la Cruz, a North Smithfield Republican who now lives in the 1st Congressional District.
The Democractic field includes Refugee Dream Center founder Omar Bah, former state Representative Edwin R. Pacheco, General Treasurer Seth Magaziner, Joy Fox, a former communications director for Langevin and former Governor Gina M. Raimondo, and Michael Neary, a former political strategist who worked for former Ohio Republican governor John Kasich.
Magaziner pounced on Fung’s announcement, issuing a statement and tweeting a photo of Fung in a hat bearing former President Donald Trump’s name.
“The very first vote Allan Fung would cast in Washington would be to turn control of Congress over to the Republican leadership who care more about doing Donald Trump’s bidding than they do about delivering results for working families,” Magaziner wrote.
🚨Allan Fung just announced his candidacy for Congress. His first vote would be to give control of the House to extreme DC Republicans who care more about doing Trump's bidding than helping working people.— Seth Magaziner (@SethMagaziner) February 11, 2022
Help me keep District 2 Blue by contributing:https://t.co/mAEA3pX0oN pic.twitter.com/nlbheiGdCz
Edward Fitzpatrick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @FitzProv.