Ken Block to leave Moderate Party and become a Republican - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Ken Block leaves Moderate Party, becomes a Republican

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Dee DeQuattro

ddequattro@abc6.com

@deedequattro

Reporting by: Melissa Randall

news@abc6.com

@MelissaARandall

The founder of the Moderate Party is no longer going to be a Moderate. Ken Block who ran unsuccessfully for Governor in 2010 as a Moderate and officially got the Moderate Party's name on the ballot after gaining more than 5% of the vote says he will run as a Republican for Governor in 2014.

Block will change his party affiliation at the Barrington Town Hall at 9:30 a.m. on Monday morning.

He has already dissolved the political accounts for the Moderate Party, however the shell of party will likely remain through the next election. That is, the Party is likely to still exist on the ballot.

In the past, Block has announced his candidacy for Governor but has been unclear if he intended to remain a Moderate. Over the past few months, Block has made subtle hints at his plans to change his party. Most recently, Block changed his campaign materials from dark blue to a red, more in line with other GOP candidates.

"I realized that the third-party approach was not an effective way to solve Rhode Island's problems. The Republican Party can become an agent of change," said Block.

Block has also attended Republican Committee meeting in several local municipalities.

GOP Chairman Mark Smiley says he is happy to welcome Block to the party. "The members of the Moderate Party are invited to join us, help us, to fix this State. I welcome Ken coming into our primary, which in my estimate, allows for a Republican victory next November. The Republican Primary will now be to choose who will be the next Governor of RI."

Smiley noted that without a third party in the race for Governor he feels the Republican candidate has a clear path to victory. In 2010 Republican Gubenatorial candidate John Robitaille lost to now Governor Chafee by less than 4% of the vote. Members of the Republican Party criticized Block accusing him of spoiling the election. Block has maintained that he was not a spoiler.

Block is releasing a letter to the members of the Republican Party outlining a plan to save Rhode Island $1 billion by cutting out government waste and fraud. He specifically noted how he was able to help Texas save $1 billion by weeding out waste and fraud in one spending program alone.

Over the past few years, Block has remained a political advocate, spearheading state efforts to remove the master-lever from election ballots and offering his services to Governor Chafee to review the state food stamp program to alleviate fraud and abuse.

(C) WLNE-TV 2013

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