PROVIDENCE — Former state Representative Robert Lancia dropped out of the race for Rhode Island’s 2nd Congressional District on Wednesday, clearing the way for former Cranston Mayor Allan Fung to be the Republican nominee.
Lancia, who lost handily to US Representative James Langevin in 2020, was considered a longshot to win a primary against Fung, and he faced pressure from party leaders heading into Wednesday’s filing deadline to back out so that Fung could focus on the general election.
Langevin announced his plans in January, which prompted Fung to enter the race and sparked a competitive Democratic primary.
“I know many of my supporters will be shocked, disappointed and some even heartbroken over this decision,” Lancia said. “We, as America First Patriots, must stay engaged and ensure that, as the Republican Party and its candidates move forward, they all do so with constitutional purpose and ensuring the integrity of the election system.”
The Republicans are expected to endorse Fung Wednesday evening.
Lancia’s announcement comes in the same week that a Boston Globe/Suffolk University poll showed Fung leading each of the potential Democratic nominees in the race. The Cook Political Report is now calling the race a “toss up” even though the seat has been held by Democrats for more than 30 years.
State Treasurer Seth Magaziner is widely considered the favorite in the Democratic primary, although he trailed Fung 45 percent to 38 percent in the Globe/Suffolk poll. The other primary candidates include Omar Bah, Spencer Dickinson, Joy Fox, Cameron Moquin, Sarah Morgenthau and David Segal.
Independents Donn Antonia, John Ritchie, and Patricia Landy all filed to run in the general election.
Lancia’s statement did not mention Fung by name, but said dropping out of the race was the “hardest decision of my life.”
“I look forward to helping elect Rhode Island Republicans up and down the ticket this November,” he said.