This is in response to the letter of Ed Walsh of Charlestown, titled “Thank you to Jennifer Douglas,” in The Sun on Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018. As a champion of Sen. Elaine J. Morgan, of our 34th Senatorial district, I think the following should be considered.
I should point out, I do not recall ever meeting Ms. Douglas or Mr. Walsh. The Democrats of Rhode Island had a candidate in every Senatorial district in the general election except Sen. Dennis Algiere's district. They all won except four. Ms. Douglas was one of the four out of 37 Democrats who lost in the recent general election. Not exactly an impressive record!
To add to that, Republicans (4,533) are outnumbered in our district by Democrats (6,108), according to the latest figures I got from the Elections Division of the Rhode Island Secretary of State's Office. Unaffiliated voters are 12,611. The Moderate Party’s strength is at 111, but it will soon likely lose its political party status because of the election results. These numbers were provided to me by Rob Rock of the division, include active, inactive, and pending voter registrations.
Jennifer Douglas had a registered voter "cushion" and advantage of around 1,500 more Democrats, and it still did not help! In addition, don’t forget this was not exactly a strong Republican year!
Sen. Morgan overcame that advantage, like she did in her previous two races in 2014, when she unseated Catherine Cool Rumsey, the Democratic incumbent from Exeter, and 2016 in their rematch. What is really interesting is this: Only the Charlestown part of the district voted for former Sen. Cool Rumsey and Ms. Douglas, which isn’t an unusual pattern in the district. And Sen. Morgan beat former Senator Cool Rumsey twice in her hometown of Exeter! The totals of both former Sen. Cool Rumsey and Ms. Douglas are similar, percentage-wise, taking into consideration the difference between presidential election and "off-year" or "midterm" turnout.
Mr. Walsh, in his letter, criticized Sen. Morgan for her remarks, stating "I believe Ms. Morgan’s remarks were uncalled for and inappropriate." He, and perhaps others, are not acquainted with some interesting postings of Ms. Douglas on social media. Clearly they were removed by her when she became a candidate.
Sen. Morgan is a great friend of mine and I admit prejudice on that part, as well as being a fellow Republican. Sen. Morgan does not use the term "Ms." She has shown herself a dependable friend of mine. I see her a person committed to the public, friends, and family. She is not afraid to go "against the tide!" Recently elected the Rhode Island state Senate minority whip, she will be one of only five Republicans out of a total 38 state senators come this January. She will reflect credit to our district and our party in the coming two years.
Scott Bill Hirst
The writer is the vice president of the Hopkinton Town Council.