Ground Game

In Rhode Island, a father and daughter run for office

Sal Caiozzo, 57, is running Congress in Rhode Island. His daughter, Julie Caiozzo, 26, is running for state representative.
Julie Caiozzo
Sal Caiozzo, 57, is running Congress in Rhode Island. His daughter, Julie Caiozzo, 26, is running for state representative.

What are the chances?

There aren’t a lot of people who live in Rhode Island. Not many of them are willing to run for office. An even smaller number are Republicans.

So perhaps it makes sense that this year the Ocean State ballot will feature a father-daughter Republican duo running for office.


For the record, Sal Caiozzo, 57, went first when he decided to run for Congress. Months later, his daughter, Julie Caiozzo, 26, had the idea of running for state representative. Both will be taking on better-financed Democratic incumbents.

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“Politics is something that has always been discussed at home, though we aren’t super political but a normal family that talks about current events,” Julie Caiozzo said in an interview.

This is not Sal Caiozzo’s first attempt at elected office. In 2016 he ran as an independent for the same seat held by US Representative Jim Langevin, a Democrat.

“I was just getting my feet wet in that race, but I have always been a Republican and wanted to run for the nomination this time,” said Sal Caiozzo, who is unopposed in the Republican primary.

Sal Caiozzo ran a plumbing business, but now leads an advocacy group that aims to show how veterans have been exposed to certain chemicals at military bases. Julie Caiozzo, who is running for a Warwick-based seat, is an esthetician.


The two say they don’t disagree on much politically. While Sal Caiozzo would focus more on veterans’ issues in Congress, his daughter would look at boosting small businesses. In their respective bids, both have distanced themselves from President Trump and focused on how they would work with Democrats to pass legislation.

As they’ve campaigned, they said, they’ve shared tales from the trail, as well as advice. They also plan on collecting signatures together to ensure they each have a spot on the ballot.

“I am just so proud of my daughter, even if it is a little crazy we are both doing this,” said Sal Caiozzo.

James Pindell can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @jamespindell or subscribe to his Ground Game newsletter on politics: