Blogs | Ethan Shorey

Norton not changing his style in House 60 run

David Norton, the outspoken critic of the Providence stadium deal last year, is making it clear with his early announcement for the House District 60 seat that he's not planning to change his aggressive style.

Norton will challenge freshman incumbent David Coughlin in the primary by taking the approach of tying Coughlin to House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and criticizing both for their lack of action on keeping the PawSox in Pawtucket.

It will be interesting to see if the strategy works, as others who have taken on the powerful speaker and his candidates have often found themselves on the losing side at election time. The difference here could be that Norton is latching onto a specific issue that has drawn such strong emotion from Pawtucket residents, the possible departure of the PawSox. No one can say that Norton didn't work hard on the "No New Stadium" fight.

Norton could also have a huge advantage on Coughlin when it comes to financing his campaign. He told me he raised some $5,000 in the last quarter alone, a hefty sum for a candidate who hadn't even announced yet. Coughlin had just $26 in his account at the last reporting deadline.

Norton also has the benefit of using the extensive email list he built up for the Organizing for Pawtucket effort as a campaign tool. He sent out his first campaign blast from that email address shortly after his announcement.

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