The AP has declared Rep. David Cicilline the winner in his congressional race in Rhode Island’s redrawn 1st District. Cicilline, the first openly gay mayor of a U.S. capital city (Providence), was seeking re-election, but faced a tough race against Republican challenger Brendan Doherty, whose campaign war chest was more than twice as big.
Polls had put Doherty several percentage points ahead, with many pointing to Cicilline’s handling of Providence’s finances as a major drawback.
Currently, Rhode Island recognizes same-sex marriages formed in other states, but only offers civil unions to LGBT residents. In early 2011, a bill legalizing same-sex marriage was introduced in the legislature—and had support from Gov. Lincoln Chafee—but died in committee.
A 2009 poll reported that 60% of Rhode Islanders supported legalizing gay marriage, with 31% opposing it.