Rhode Island sees first open U.S. House seat since 2010

The filing deadline for candidates running for Congress in Rhode Island this year was July 15, 2022. Nine candidates are running for Rhode Island’s two U.S. House districts, including seven Democrats and two Republicans. That’s 4.5 candidates per district, more than the 2.5 candidates per district in 2020 and the three in 2018.

Here are some other highlights from this year’s filings:

  • This is the first election to take place under new district lines following the 2020 census. Rhode Island was apportioned two districts, the same number it was apportioned after the 2010 census.
  • The nine candidates running this year are four more than the five who ran in 2020 and three more than the six who ran in 2018. Seven candidates ran in 2016, six in 2014, and 12 in 2012.
  • There is an open seat for the first time since 2010. Rep. Jim Langevin (D), the incumbent in the 2nd district, is retiring.
  • Seven candidates—six Democrats and one Republican—are running to replace Langevin, the most candidates running for a seat this year. 
  • Rep. David Cicilline (R), the incumbent in the 1st district, is running for re-election and is not facing any primary challengers. 
  • The Democratic primary in the 2nd district is the only contested primary this year. That number is a decade low. There were two contested primaries in 2020, 2018, 2016, and 2014. There were four contested primaries in 2012.
  • Democratic and Republican candidates filed to run in both districts,  so no seats are guaranteed to either party this year.

Rhode Island and two other states—Delaware and New Hampshire—are holding their congressional primaries on September 13, 2022. In Rhode Island, the winner of a primary election is the candidate who receives the greatest number of votes, even if he or she does not win an outright majority of votes cast.