Political Notebook: RI Democrats gearing up

The drifting Democratic Party is starting to get its act together in preparation for the election next year.

First, the state party will meet at the Portuguese Club in Cranston on Oct. 3, to elect a new chairman. It will almost certainly be former state Rep. David Caprio, who House Speaker Gordon Fox will nominate. Since the Party members in large part are picked by the Speaker, it would be very unusual if his nominee did not prevail in the vote scheduled for that Thursday night.

It's good news for any Democratic candidates in 2014, because Party leadership needs to be in place to provide logistical support. One key benefit of party affiliation is access to voter files maintained by the Party.

Then, Fox has called a caucus or retreat for House Democrats for Oct. 7.

The afternoon retreat at the Alton Jones Campus, will not vote on leadership positions. Those are two-year terms that were elected last January.

House spokesman Larry Berman rejects rumors that Fox is thinking of handing off his gavel. In fact, Berman says unequivocally, "the Speaker was elected for a two-year term and he plans to serve it out in its entirety."

The purpose of the retreat is to discuss politics and strategy going into the election year. Also slated for discussion will be the upcoming legislative agenda for the 2013-14 session.

The retreat, he says, will be paid for out of Fox's campaign chest.