Anchor Staff Writer
PROVIDENCE, R.I., — Former Rhode Island State Representative for District 16, Bob Lancia, is running for Rhode Island’s Second Congressional District in the 2022 election. Lancia previously ran for the same seat in 2020 as the Republican nominee. During an interview earlier this month, Lancia spoke on a wide range of topics including why he is running for Congress again and what his time was like as a student at Rhode Island College.
Although Lancia lost to 10x incumbent Congressman Jim Langevin (RI-2) in 2020, he outperformed any Republican who had challenged Langevin in recent history winning 41.5% of the vote to Langevin’s 58.2%.
“I think because we did so well and came so close. But also, the problems I was campaigning on haven’t gone away. So we’re going to go for it again.” Lancia said when asked why he is running for Congress again.
While Lancia is running for the Second Congressional District, it is possible the state could lose a Congressional seat once the 2020 Census data is released. Lancia doesn’t believe Rhode Island will lose a seat. He claimed that since President Joe Biden wants to count non-citizens and citizens in the Census as opposed to former President Donald Trump, who wanted only citizens to be counted when he was still in office, Rhode Island will maintain it’s four seats.
When asked what his campaign plans are if Rhode Island does lose a Congressional District, Lancia said, “None of the people I know, including my party chair, thinks that is going to happen, I think we’re going to keep both seats.” He continued, “I think under the new circumstances, we’ll be fine.”
In both his last campaign and this one, Lancia asserted his desire to implement term limits for members of Congress by limiting members of the House of Representatives to two four-year terms and Senators to two six-year terms.
Regarding term limits, Lancia said, “There was a Congressman that I met from Colorado, and he said, ‘The goal in Congress when you get there is to stay there.’ How many Congressmen and Congresswomen go into office, and they come out millionaires? It’s absolutely insane. It’s supposed to be public service, not a lifetime job.”
Since it is unlikely to pass, Lancia committed to only serving four terms (eight years), if elected to Congress.
Another big issue his campaign plans to focus on is addressing the country’s national debt. Lancia pointed out that the current national debt at the time of this interview was $28 trillion and that if the new coronavirus relief bill is passed, then it would raise to $30 trillion. He’s proposing to control spending in order to eliminate the annual deficit. One idea he supports to combat the national debt is the ‘Penny Plan’ proposed by U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY).
“I like what Senator Paul has done. He came out with his Festivus Report, highlighting all the wasteful spending. We really need to go through the budget and get rid of what’s not needed.” Lancia continued, “When he [Paul] started talking about how to pay down the debt, he said ‘We need to just take a penny from every federal dollar spent. In five years, we would balance the budget, and in five more years, we’d have a trillion-dollar surplus.’ But then, we had the federal government overspending by 18% a year. Now since COVID, he [Paul] now says it would take three pennies. He now calls it his three-penny plan.”
Lancia is RIC alumni, having received a Bachelor's Degree from the college in 1976. Lancia says the low cost to attend RIC influenced his decision to attend there. “I enrolled at RIC. Do you know what my bill was a year? $500, $10 a week, and my parents said ‘I think we can afford that.’ And that was a big deal.”
When he initially enrolled at RIC, Lancia planned on being a history teacher but was convinced by a former teacher of his, who was an adjunct-professor at RIC, that he should pursue elementary education.
When asked about his time at RIC, he said, “I loved my time at RIC. I worked in the school library, work-study. I paid for myself financially, and I loved the school and had a great experience. The best part was I got to graduate in three and a half years because I wanted to get out there to start substitute teaching and hopefully get a job in the fall.”
The interview can be seen in its entirety here.