by ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis
In a day of dueling news conferences, Republican Brendan Doherty swung first. He says then Mayor Cicilline mishandled the 2007 snowstorm known as the December Debacle. Doherty said, "People stranded on the highway for hours. The city was stranded for hours. And David Cicilline as reported by the media was a disappearing act. No one could find him."
A short time later, Cicilline swung back.
"That is absolutely not true. In that event we learned lessons, we made improvements. But I was of course responsible as Mayor of the city."
ABC 6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, "It is really getting down to the wire in the first district Congressional campaign in a race that most observers now say is just too close to call."
David Cicilline was surrounded by just about every prominent Democrat in the state.
Three spoke on his behalf.
He stood next to Angel Taveras, his successor as mayor.
Taveras once said the city finances he inherited from Cicilline were a "Category 5 Hurricane."
Mark Curtis asks, "Brendan Doherty has made a big issue of that. Isn't that fair game in this campaign?"
Cicilline says, "I think there is no question. We've talked about that a lot for the last 18 months. I've acknowledged and expressed regret for the way I described the city. I think there is no question. But I welcome the Mayor's strong support."
By contrast, Brendan Doherty news conference was just him.
"I stand here you before as my own man. And that's what I'll do in Washington. I'll never be a rubber stamp for anybody. We need independent leaders.
Both men pledged to campaign right into Election Day. A fight, to the finish.