Allan Fung’s attempt to become the first Republican to win a U.S. House seat from Rhode Island in 30 years is the top contest getting settled by voters on Election Day.

U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin, a Democrat who has held the 2nd District seat since first winning election in 2000, made a surprise announcement that he would not seek another term.

That kicked off a fierce battle between Fung, the longtime former mayor of Cranston, and Democrat Seth Magaziner, who is concluding his second term as Rhode Island’s general treasurer and had been running for governor.

Magaziner jumped into the CD2 race, arguing that Fung’s allegiance to D.C. Republicans — including a likely vote for Kevin McCarthy for speaker in a GOP-controlled House — is bad for Rhode Island.

Fung has benefited from several factors, however, including voters’ focus on cost of living and the 2nd District’s status as the more conservative of the state’s two congressional districts. Fung is also more rooted in the 2nd District, where Magaziner is now renting a home, and has a generally favorable reputation from his time serving as Cranston’s mayor.

A Fung victory in a Democratic-leaning state like Rhode Island would be an important symbolic win for the GOP. It would help Fung brush off the bad taste of losing runs for governor in 2014 and 2018.

The last GOP member of the U.S. House to win election from Rhode Island was Ron Machtley in 1992. The last Republican to represent CD2 was Claudine Schneider, last elected in 1988,

Here’s a look at other top races:

GOVERNOR

Incumbent Gov. Dan McKee, a Democrat who was bumped from Lt. Governor to the top job when predecessor Gina Raimonado resigned to work in the Biden Administration, is considered the favorite in his race with Republican newcomer Ashley Kalus.

Kalus moved to Rhode Island last year. She contends McKee is not doing enough to improve schools or the economy, and has failed to demonstrate the will to make the state better. McKee says his record shows he’s moving the state in a positive direction.

Kalus has spent about $5 million of her own money on her campaign. McKee has responded by questioning her short time in Rhode Island, and on news reports that describe Kalus’ involvement in a series of business disputes.

GENERAL OFFICES

Voters will decide four other state general offices. Among those, the contests for lieutenant governor (between Democratic Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos and GOP challenger Aaron Guckian) and treasurer (between Democratic former Central Falls Mayor James Diossa and Republican James Lathrop, who has worked in municipal finance in different local communities) are considered the most competitive.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Republicans are trying to make inroads in the legislature, where the GOP holds just 15 of 113 seats total in the state House and Senate. The legislature has gradually moved in a more progressive direction in recent election cycles, and that trend could continue in this election cycle.

Some of the races to watch include Democrat Megan Cotter’s challenge to Rep. Justin Price (R-Richmond), who attended the January 6 protest in Washington, but said he didn’t enter the Capitol; the skirmish between Democrat Glenn Dusablon and former Rep. Jon Brien, running as an independent, for a seat being vacated by Rep. Steven Lima (D-Woonsocket); West Greenwich Republican Amanda Blau’s challenge to Rep. Justine Caldwell (D-East Greenwich); Republican Marie Hopkins’ challenge to Rep. Camille Vella-Wilkinson (D-Warwick); Republican Brian Rea’s run against Rep. Bernard Hawkins (D-Smithfield); and campaigns by progressive women, including Pam Lauria in Barrington, Victoria Gu in Charlestown, Tina Spears of Charlestown, for the seat being vacated by House GOP Leader Blake Filippi, and Jennifer Boylan of Barrington.

BALLOT QUESTIONS

Rhode Islanders will also decide statewide three ballot questions on proposed state borrowing. One would use $100 million to make improvements to URI’s Narragansett Bay campus, another would steer $250 million to improve or build public schools across the state, and the last would use $50 million for a series of environmental improvements.

Ian Donnis can be reached at idonnis@ripr.org