By Sam Wroblewski WPRO
The Rhode Island Republican Party is challenging the candidacy of Robert Healey after he stepped in to replace then-Moderate party candidate James Spooner as candidate for governor.
RI GOP Chairman Mark Smiley claims in a filing to the Board of Elections that Spooner did not properly remove himself from the race. The complaint contends that because the Moderate party placed conditions upon Spooner’s withdrawal, he failed to relinquish his spot as a candidate.
Additionally, the RI GOP also alleges that Moderate Chairman William Gilbert is not listed as the head of the party and does not have the authority to appoint a new candidate to the race.
During an appearance on the Buddy Cianci Show with Tara Granahan, Healey said he only briefly looked at the petition, but is confident there is a counter argument to the RI GOP’s points.
“I think some of the stuff in their complaint doesn’t make a lot of sense,” said Healey, “It reeks of an act of desperation.”
Healey is known for founding the Cool Moose party in 1986 when he ran for governor. He also pursued the office of lieutenant governor on and off throughout the 2000s.
Healey was asked to enter the race as a Moderate party candidate when Spooner had to withdraw due to medical reasons.