Providence Mayor David Cicilline is the
front-runner in the race to represent Rhode Island's 1st
The openly gay Cicilline is up by
double digits in the polls. According to the New York Time's
FiveThirtyEight Election Forecast, Cicilline has a 91.9 percent
chance of winning on November 2.
The 49-year-old Cicilline, who has
served two terms as mayor of Providence, enjoys the endorsement of
the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, a group that supports openly gay
elected officials, and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's
largest gay rights advocate.
He also holds a fundraising advantage
against his Republican rival, John Loughlin II.
If elected, Cicilline would become the
fourth House member who is openly gay, provided Democratic
front-runners Barney Frank of Massachusetts, Tammy Baldwin of
Wisconsin and Jared Polis of Colorado win their re-election bids.
Cicilline boosters say he's up in the
polls because his campaign has focused on jobs and the economy.
“He has a strong reputation for
building Providence's economy and I think that focus for him has
really been what has propelled him to the front of this race,”
Robin Brand, deputy executive director of the Victory Fund, told CNN.
Brand added that Cicilline's honesty
about his sexuality is a plus in the eyes of many voters.
“It's clear that it may not be easy
to run as openly gay or lesbian, but they are being open and honest
about who they are. Voters really respect that, and I think that, in
some ways, can really be an advantage especially in times like this.”
Denis Dison, a Victory Fund vice
president, echoed a similar sentiment.
“Every year more and more brave
people are stepping up to run for office while being honest about who
they are,” Dison told On Top Magazine in an email. “That's
going to change politics in America.”
A fifth openly gay candidate, Steve
Pougnet, is challenging Republican Rep. Mary Bono Mack in