gina raimondo

Race for RI gov now a ‘toss up,’ top forecaster says

October 31st, 2014 at 3:48 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – One of Washington’s top election prognosticators is upgrading Republican Allan Fung’s chances of winning the race for Rhode Island governor next week.

Separately, the Democratic Governors Association disclosed it has now spent $755,000 in Rhode Island on Raimondo’s behalf through Thursday; the Republican Governors Association had spent $125,000 on Fung’s behalf through Oct. 20, R.I. Board of Elections disclosures show.

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Fung, Raimondo stay on attack in last TV debate

October 30th, 2014 at 9:17 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The two leading candidates for Rhode Island governor attacked each other fiercely and frequently during their final debate on Thursday night, lobbing charges and countercharges about everything from 38 Studios to pension funding.

Democrat Gina Raimondo and Republican Allan Fung clashed throughout most of the 60-minute debate, televised live from Rhode Island College on WJAR-TV before a boisterous crowd, as they sought to press their cases to the undecided voters who are likely to decide what polls show to be a tight race.

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Fung keeps big cash advantage over Raimondo

October 29th, 2014 at 1:10 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Republican Allan Fung continues to hold a big financial advantage over Democrat Gina Raimondo in the race to be Rhode Island’s next governor, with just a week left before voters cast their ballots, according to R.I. Board of Elections disclosures filed Tuesday.

Here’s how the money race is playing out for statewide offices on the ballot this year in Rhode Island.

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Raimondo, Fung break little new ground in 2nd debate

October 28th, 2014 at 9:08 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The two leading candidates for Rhode Island governor clashed over familiar topics and themes in their second debate on Tuesday night, just as a new poll showed an extremely tight race between them with a week left until the election.

Democrat Gina Raimondo and Republican Allan Fung sparred over their records and plans during much of the 60-minute debate televised from Roger Williams University, but it was Moderate Bob Healey who frequently stole the show by turning in a much more animated performance than in last week’s debate on WPRI 12.

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Donors backing anti-Raimondo group still a mystery

October 27th, 2014 at 3:48 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – For nearly a week, an Ohio nonprofit called the Mid America Fund Inc. has been airing TV ads attacking Democratic gubernatorial nominee Gina Raimondo. But Rhode Island voters still don’t know who’s actually paying for them.

The nonprofit’s biggest funding source – a second Ohio nonprofit, this one known as the Government Integrity Fund Inc. — is the only one of the major outside groups spending big on the race for governor that has failed to disclose its underlying donors.

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NYT/CBS/YouGov Poll: Raimondo maintains lead over Fung

October 27th, 2014 at 10:30 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democrat Gina Raimondo continues to hold a small but clear lead over Republican Allan Fung in the race to be Rhode Island’s next governor, according to a new online-only poll released Sunday by The New York Times, CBS News and YouGov.

The new results came the same day the Alliance for a Better Rhode Island, an outside group partly funded by the Democratic Governors Association that’s been attacking Fung in TV ads, disclosed nearly doubling its total spending in the state to $561,776 as of Thursday.

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Watch Newsmakers: WPRI 12/Journal RI Governor Debate

October 26th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes


Clinton swings through RI to boost Raimondo bid

October 24th, 2014 at 5:28 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi and Susan Campbell

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a full-throated endorsement to Democratic gubernatorial nominee Gina Raimondo on Friday, using a campaign rally to tie Raimondo’s themes to those Clinton may run on in a 2016 presidential bid.

Raimondo’s Republican opponent, Allan Fung, dismissed the Clinton rally as something that isn’t a big deal to most voters. He spent the morning visiting Brutopia, a brewery and restaurant in Cranston that he said demonstrated how his stewardship of that city has prepared him to improve the state’s economy.

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Outside groups pouring big money into RI gov race

October 22nd, 2014 at 10:32 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A huge amount of outside money is suddenly pouring into Rhode Island’s tight race for governor.

In the last 24 hours, two groups with no previous history in the state – one backed by the Democratic Governors Association and one backed by the Republican Governors Association – have dropped a combined $849,014 into the race to air TV ads attacking the top two candidates, Democrat Gina Raimondo and Republican Allan Fung, according to a WPRI.com review of R.I. Board of Elections filings.

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Analysis: 5 takeaways from the RI governor debate

October 21st, 2014 at 11:45 pm by under Nesi's Notes

Click here to read my five takeaways from the debate on the new WPRI.com website »


Fung, Raimondo go on the attack in first TV debate

October 21st, 2014 at 11:42 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The two leading candidates for Rhode Island governor questioned one another’s leadership skills during their first televised debate Tuesday evening, launching attacks at political decisions each has made in recent years while touting their plans to create jobs and turn the state’s lagging economy around.

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• Related: Watch the full debate on WPRI.com | Analysis: 5 takeaways from the debate


Arnold donates another $100K to pro-Raimondo super PAC

October 15th, 2014 at 8:42 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The wealthy Texas billionaire who previously backed a pro-pension-overhaul group has donated another $100,000 to a “super PAC” formed to boost Treasurer Gina Raimondo’s bid for governor, with the money set to be used against her GOP rival.

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New WPRI 12/Journal Poll: Raimondo holds a slim lead

October 15th, 2014 at 4:30 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi and Tim White

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democrat Gina Raimondo has a slim lead over Republican Allan Fung in the race for Rhode Island governor, with Moderate Robert Healey pulling a meaningful share of the vote, an exclusive WPRI 12/Providence Journal survey released Wednesday shows.

The new survey of 505 likely Rhode Island voters shows Raimondo in the lead at 42%, Fung in second place at 36% and Healey far behind at 8%. An additional 12% of voters remain undecided.

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• Related: New WPRI 12/Journal Poll: Dems lead for 4 RI lower offices (Oct. 14)


NYT/CBS/YouGov Poll: Raimondo, Fung in tight race

October 11th, 2014 at 12:45 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democrat Gina Raimondo holds a slim lead over Republican Allan Fung in the race for Rhode Island governor, according to a newly released online-only poll by The New York Times, CBS News and YouGov.

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Doherty backs Raimondo as Fung stays on attack

October 9th, 2014 at 5:39 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Former GOP congressional candidate Brendan Doherty announced Thursday he is backing Democrat Gina Raimondo for governor, even as his fellow Republican Allan Fung launched a new TV ad attacking her as too close to the financial sector.

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Super PAC aiding Gina Raimondo after ban ruled out

October 8th, 2014 at 3:24 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A “super PAC” formed to support Democrat Gina Raimondo announced Wednesday it’s going on the air with a TV ad attacking Republican Allan Fung, just weeks after Raimondo’s campaign refused to discuss a ban on outside spending in the race.

John Marion, executive director of Common Cause Rhode Island, told WPRI.com he was asked by Fung campaign manager Patrick Sweeney to set up a meeting to discuss the possibility of a so-called “People’s Pledge” agreement between the two sides to limit outside spending in the gubernatorial race, but Raimondo campaign manager Eric Hyers refused to discuss the idea when Marion approached him.

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Fung has financial edge over Raimondo in gov race

October 8th, 2014 at 11:12 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Republican gubernatorial nominee Allan Fung is entering the final four weeks of the campaign with a sizable financial advantage over his Democratic rival Gina Raimondo, according to R.I. Board of Elections disclosures filed Tuesday.

Here’s how the money race is playing out for statewide offices on the ballot this year in Rhode Island.

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Fung attacks Raimondo on 38 Studios in new TV ad

September 29th, 2014 at 5:16 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Republican gubernatorial nominee Allan Fung released the first TV attack ad of the fall campaign on Monday, criticizing his Democratic rival Gina Raimondo for supporting repayment of the 38 Studios bonds. The campaign is putting $93,000 behind the ad over 10 days.

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First Raimondo TV spot ties her to Jack Reed

September 28th, 2014 at 8:40 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democratic gubernatorial nominee Gina Raimondo is leaning on party elder statesman U.S. Sen. Jack Reed to give her a boost as she launches her first television commercial of the fall campaign. The state party is spending $90,000 on the ad this week.

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Poll: Raimondo has slim lead over Fung for gov

September 27th, 2014 at 12:41 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democrat Gina Raimondo has a small lead over Republican Allan Fung in the race to become Rhode Island’s next governor, according to a new poll released Saturday by Rasmussen Reports that did not include Moderate Bob Healey.

The survey of 750 likely voters in Rhode Island shows Raimondo on top at 42%, with Fung a relatively close second at 37%. An additional 11% of voters said they were supporting a different candidate, while 11% said they were undecided.

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A handful of RI cities powered Raimondo and Fung victories

September 17th, 2014 at 11:59 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Raimondo Fung primary night 2014Rhode Island may have 39 cities and towns, but the state doesn’t have an Electoral College, so it doesn’t matter how many different municipalities a candidate wins – run up the score enough in a few and you could conceivably win an election while losing a majority of the 39.

That’s not what happened in last week’s Democratic and Republican gubernatorial primaries; both Gina Raimondo and Allan Fung came out on top in a majority of the 39 cities and towns, with Raimondo winning 36 of them and Fung winning 28 of them.

But a closer look at the results shows a majority of Raimondo’s votes came from just seven cities and towns, while a majority of Fung’s votes came from only eight.

Raimondo’s top three cities for votes matched the state’s top three cities for population precisely: Providence (9,738 votes), Warwick (4,387) and Cranston (3,593). Her fourth-best community was Cumberland, only the eighth-biggest by population, which gave her 3,150 votes. Add in Pawtucket (2,912), North Providence (2,599) and East Providence (2,527), and you have a majority of Raimondo’s 54,041 accounted for. Her biggest outlier was probably Central Falls, which ranks 19th by population but was 30th for Raimondo votes. (Angel Taveras won the city with help from Mayor James Diossa.)

Raimondo got 50,041 votes total; here are the rankings with cumulative percentages:

  1. Providence: 9,738 (18%)
  2. Warwick: 4,387 (26%)
  3. Cranston: 3,593 (33%)
  4. Cumberland: 3,150 (39%)
  5. Pawtucket: 2,912 (44%)
  6. North Providence: 2,599 (49%)
  7. East Providence: 2,527 (54%)

Fung’s vote totals don’t match up as precisely with population centers. His top cities were his hometown of Cranston (3,040 votes) and Warwick (2,428), which together contributed almost one in three Fung votes. But his third-best town was North Kingstown (834), which ranks 13th by population, whereas the state’s biggest city, Providence, gave him only 616 votes, even fewer than Coventry (734). Another town with outsized impact was East Greenwich (512 votes), 26th by population but sixth for Fung votes. The rest of his majority came from South Kingstown (506) and East Providence (477).

Fung got 17,531 votes total; here are the rankings with cumulative percentages:

  1. Cranston: 3,040 (17%)
  2. Warwick: 2,428 (31%)
  3. North Kingstown: 834 (36%)
  4. Coventry: 734 (40%)
  5. Providence: 616 (44%)
  6. East Greenwich: 512 (47%)
  7. South Kingstown: 506 (49.5%)
  8. East Providence: 477 (52%)

The results in Central Falls were even more striking for Fung than for Raimondo. He won more votes on Block Island (36) than he did in Central Falls (26), even though the latter has 18 times more residents.

Ted Nesi ( tnesi@wpri.com ) covers politics and the economy for WPRI.com and writes the Nesi’s Notes blog. Follow him on Twitter: @tednesi


Raimondo’s primary victory cost $2.3M more than Coakley’s

September 11th, 2014 at 12:20 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Massachusetts’ population is six times bigger than Rhode Island’s, but it was actually less expensive for Martha Coakley to win a nomination for governor this year in the Bay State than for Gina Raimondo to do so in its small southern neighbor.

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Clay Pell campaign spent $111 for every vote he got

September 10th, 2014 at 1:19 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democrat Clay Pell finished the 2014 Democratic gubernatorial primary right where he started, in third place – but not before dishing out more than $3.4 million of his own money in a failed attempt to win.

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Raimondo, Fung set to face off for RI governor

September 10th, 2014 at 1:05 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Rhode Island is set to elect its first female governor or its first Asian-American governor this November after General Treasurer Gina Raimondo and Cranston Mayor Allan Fung won their party’s nominations on Tuesday.

More than 153,000 registered Rhode Island voters cast a ballot in the primary election, with roughly 123,000 votes cast in the Democratic gubernatorial primary and about 31,000 votes cast in the Republican race, according to preliminary results. That would put voter turnout in the primary at roughly 20%.

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More winners in Tuesday’s primary elections:


RI governor hopefuls’ campaign spending tops $10M

September 3rd, 2014 at 12:23 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The top five candidates seeking to become Rhode Island’s next governor have spent more than $10 million over the last five months jockeying for advantage in the Democratic and Republican primaries, according to a review of campaign-finance filings by WPRI.com.

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Analysis: 5 takeaways from the Democratic gov debate

August 26th, 2014 at 11:00 pm by under Nesi's Notes

Click here to read my five takeaways from the debate on the new WPRI.com website »


Democrats for RI gov battle in aggressive TV debate

August 26th, 2014 at 8:01 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – With two weeks until the primary, the three leading Democratic candidates for Rhode Island governor questioned each other’s records while laying out their plans for job creation and education during a fiery debate Tuesday.

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• Related: Watch the full debate on WPRI.com | Analysis: 5 takeaways from the debate


WPRI 12/Journal Poll: Raimondo takes the lead; Pell rises

August 20th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – General Treasurer Gina Raimondo has overtaken Providence Mayor Angel Taveras in the Democratic primary for governor and political newcomer Clay Pell is closing in on him from behind, an exclusive WPRI 12/Providence Journal poll released Wednesday shows.

The new survey of 503 likely Rhode Island Democratic primary voters shows Raimondo in the lead at 32%, Taveras slipping to second place at 27% and Pell close behind him at 26%. The number of voters who are undecided has fallen to 13% ahead of the Sept. 9 primary.

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Clay Pell’s résumé comes under closer scrutiny

August 12th, 2014 at 10:40 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Clay Pell has compiled a lengthy résumé in the nine years since he received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, an employment history that is drawing more scrutiny as it comes under fire from one of his rivals.

Pell has actually had only two full-time permanent jobs since finishing law school, according to a WPRI.com review of public information, statements made by Pell and details provided by his campaign.

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Clay Pell launching new ad to blunt Taveras attack

August 7th, 2014 at 10:00 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democratic gubernatorial candidate Clay Pell is moving quickly to try and blunt a TV attack ad that’s being aired in heavy rotation by his rival, Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, with his own spot arguing the campaign should stay policy-focused.

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