Update: I just spoke to Anthony Gemma, and he confirmed with me that he is “considering a run for Congress”. Currently, he is doing his due diligence, speaking with his family and considering whether or not a run is the right thing to do.
Gemma has never ran for public office before and has always thought that “he could do more by being on the outside,” never really considering getting directly involved in the political process as a candidate before now. Could his political inexperience be the ultimate rallying cry of an “outsider” candidacy in a political environment in which incumbency and political experience may very well be poisonous?
There will be much more to come.
Original Post: I’ve been hearing from a couple different sources that Anthony Gemma, president of Gem Plumbing & Heating, may be considering a run for Congressional District 1 as a Democrat. If true, he will be running against Bill Lynch, David Cicilline, and possibly (likely?) David Segal in September’s primary.
It’s also likely that Gemma will be the more conservative of the Democrats running. The recent news that Cumberland Mayor, Dan McKee will be seeking reelection rather than entering the CD1 race leaves open a space for a conservative Democrat to make a competitive run. If we know anything about Rhode Islanders, it’s that they love their conservative Democrats.
Anthony Gemma is also president of a new media and advertising company called Mediapeel, as well as Co-Founder of the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation, established in 2004 in memory of his mother in order to “raise breast cancer awareness, increase breast health education, and generate funding for critical breast health programs that are in desperate need of being brought to fruition.”
I had a brief conversation with Anthony Gemma several weeks ago, before I heard this rumor. We talked politics, because what else is there? He was friendly, outgoing, and ultimately concerned with making it easier for businesses to open and operate in the state. This could translate easily for a main campaign theme.
I put a call out to Anthony for confirmation, and will update this post if or when he returns my call.