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Jack’s Angle: for Primary Day – John J. “Jack” Partridge




by John J. “Jack” Partridge, contributing writer, commentary

The so-called debates among the Democratic candidates for the party’s nomination for the First District were a waste of time for anyone interested in the issues facing the country or the District.

All that seems to consume them are gender, race, family wealth and identity, place of birth, and their bloated descriptions of their governmental experience. They insult voters with canned and rehearsed one liners on virtually all policy issues which displays their lack of knowledge and concern.

What a disappointment to the electorate. And this after the Matos self-iNFLicted wounds as to her nomination papers.

As a friend of mine would yell to Red Sox managers at Fenway Park during a late season swoon, ”the fans deserve better.”

Does anyone, except the ideologues, really care as to who has been the most progressive politician or who worked for who? Or even who has endorsed who or which candidate has spent the most money or where it came from?

Voters should be informed as to the candidates’ views on how to preserve Social Security for now and the future, the forgiveness of $40 billion in student debt in face of our growing national debt, the Ukraine war expenditures, a position on school choice, the rise in violent crime, the southern border crisis, and the growing menace to our national security posed by China.

If you follow the public statements and the performances of those who claim to be leading in the polls at candidate forums, you will have to conclude they have little care or knowledge or positions on many of these issues. They make only a case for their candidacies based on their genders, national origins, and with a few nods to this or that group involved with a particular social issue. The fans do deserve better. 

And as we reach primary day, we see them fighting each other like crabs in a bait bucket. 

Few if any of the self-proclaimed poll leaders even bother to appeal to the independent voters, instead their campaigns are a seminar in how to keep voting participation down, by ignoring the big national issues and trashing opponents. Just listen to them, they will not get together post primary if they truly believe in their campaigns of mutual vilification, unless they are hypocrites.

As to the November general election, what a gift the primary is to a Republican middle of the road, thoughtful candidate. The best political advice to such an individual would be to let the Democrats continue to fight it out post primary, stake out a few carefully articulated positions on national issues and the presidency of Joe Biden, and get out to the voters personally and with media. In other words, nationalize the district race. Mix it up with your opponent with ideas and commitment, and not gender and identity. That would be a lost cause.


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John J. ‘Jack’ Partridge, is a retired lawyer and Senior Counsel to the firm of Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP, with four offices in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

A Pawtucket native, Jack graduates from St. Raphael Academy and summa cum laude of Providence College, where he majored in History. After Harvard Law School, he served in the United States Army in Vietnam, where he was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal. In 1967, he joined the firm of Tillinghast Collins & Tanner. In 1988, he became a founding partner of Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP.

Jack has been engaged in many civic, political, governmental, and Business organizations, serving as legal counsel to the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce for 27 years and was chairman of the Old Slater Mill Association, Common Cause Rhode Island, and Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island.

He is the co-founder of The Pawtucket Foundation and an officer and director of innumerable not-for-profit entities. He served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Pawtucket Boys & Girls Club and was Treasurer of the Ocean State Charities Trust.

Jack has a long History of leadership involvement with Providence College, which recognized him in 1999 with the Providence College Alumni Association Recognition Award for Public and Community Service, and in 2011, with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

He is married to the former Regina McDonald and has three children: Sarah, Gregory and David.

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