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In Rhode Island House race, Democrat Frank Caprio falls behind

The Democratic state treasurer had been pointedly denied an endorsement from President Obama. Independent Lincoln Chafee is leading Republican John Robitaille.

November 02, 2010|By Michael A. Memoli, Tribune Washington Bureau

Reporting from Washington — In the end, Rhode Island voters told Frank Caprio to shove it.

The Democratic state treasurer was running a distant third in the race for governor, behind independent Lincoln Chafee and Republican John Robitaille.

Chafee had a lead of more than 7,000 votes with nearly all of the state's precincts reporting.

It was just last week that President Obama came to the state and declined to endorse his party's standard bearer. The White House cited his relationship with Chafee, a former Republican who was a Senate colleague and had endorsed him in 2008.

In response, Caprio said in a radio interview that Obama could take his endorsement and "shove it."

At the time Caprio had been running neck-and-neck with Chafee, and national Democrats made a "substantial" investment seeking to help the party reclaim the seat for the first time in 16 years.

Despite a subsequent trip from President Clinton on his behalf, it appears the controversy took its toll on Caprio.

Incumbent Don Carcieri, a Republican, was barred from seeking a third term.

mmemoli@tribune.com

twitter.com/mikememoli

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