2014-05-01 / Front Page

Lynch Hopes to Present Fresh Face

By Tom Walsh

Lead machine gunner Cormick Lynch, his eyes peeled for danger on the turret of a U.S. Marine Corps Humvee patrolling just outside of Fallujah, Al Anbar Province, Iraq, suddenly felt the jolt of an exploding anti-tank mine.

Though injured, Lynch survived the 2006 blast. But three of his fellow Marines did not.

On Wednesday, April 30, 2014, Lynch, now 29 and a Newport resident, was again on a mission, this time in the vastly more peaceful setting of Tiverton, Rhode Island. Driving en route to meet with potential contributors to his still nascent Republican campaign to unseat First District Democratic incumbent Congressman David N. Cicilline, Lynch seemed to relish talking with a reporter.

“We’ve gotten a slew of donations since last Wednesday’s announcement,” Lynch, a political newcomer, was saying. “My goal now is to be bold and to resonate with the voters in Rhode Island. People want to know who they’re sending to represent them. This will be a grassroots bottom-up campaign.”

He said he was happy with the formal campaign launch. “I got a lot of good press,” he said. And, a talk radio encounter with a normally tough host had also gone well, in Lynch’s view.

But his campaign, at this point anyway, remains an uphill climb in Rhode Island’s heavily Democratic First Congressional District. Lynch said he needs to raise $2 million to run a credible race for Congress. “I’ve already raised a lot,” he said. Asked how much was a lot, Lynch replied, “I can’t give you a definitive figure right now.”

Lynch said he is aware that he has a lot of work in front of him.

“I understand people will want to investigate me as a new candidate,” he said. “I’ve gone into this knowing that the burden of proof is on me, that I need to prove myself to every voter. I will be trying to appeal to social moderates and bluecollar voters.”

Though he now lives in Newport, Lynch was born in Cranston and grew up in South Kingstown. Childhood years were difficult. His campaign Web site describes those years as “a life riddled with violence, turmoil, and no parental guidance. By the time he was 11 his older brother was in and out of group homes in the custody of the state, his father was largely absent and his mother had moved out of their house with his two younger brothers.” Taken in by the family of a close friend, Lynch graduated from South Kingstown High School. At 19, he was a U.S. Marine.

Following his military service, Lynch graduated from the University of Delaware and landed a job with JP Morgan in New York City.

“I’ve worked hard,” Lynch said. He remains undaunted by the political challenge he faces and said his relatively young age for a congressional candidate will not hinder the effort.

“It’s not about age,” Lynch said. “It’s about presence, about being a leader. We shouldn’t be satisfied with a stagnant economy and an environment where there is a permanent state of unemployment.”

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