Clay Pell loans his campaign another $1.05 million

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democratic gubernatorial candidate Clay Pell is dipping heavily into his own personal fortune to fund his campaign, while his rivals Gina Raimondo and Angel Taveras beat the band to raise money coast to coast.

Pell’s campaign confirmed Wednesday morning that the 32-year-old political newcomer made a $1.05 million personal loan to his campaign on March 31. That’s on top of the $1.03 million he loaned his campaign last fall.

Pell also raised $169,907 from individual donors who included former U.S. Sen. Tom Daschle, singer-songwriter Colbie Caillat and DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg. His campaign finished the first quarter with slightly more than $2 million cash on hand as of March 31.

Pell spent big with campaign consultants over the winter, shelling out $81,742 to California-based Trilogy Interactive for website services and $44,410 to Devine Mulvey Longabaugh Inc., the Washington firm whose partner, the prominent Democratic operative Tad Devine, is producing his TV commercials.

Pell is the grandson of the late U.S. Sen. Claiborne Pell and the husband of Olympic figure-skater Michelle Kwan. He kicked off his campaign in January and has the strong backing of the National Education Association Rhode Island teachers’ union, among other groups.

Pell’s two main rivals in the Sept. 9 primary were also required to file their first-quarter finance reports with the R.I. Board of Elections by midnight Wednesday.

General Treasurer Gina Raimondo continued to set the financial pace, raising a huge $1.1 million in the first three months of the year to finish the first quarter with $3.35 million in her campaign war chest, according to her Board of Elections filing.

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras had his strongest quarter so far, raising $497,106 and finishing with $1.37 million cash on hand, his filing showed.

Unlike Pell, Raimondo and Taveras had not filed their first-quarter finance reports with the Board of Elections as of Wednesday morning.

On the Republican side, Cranston Mayor Allan Fung and Barrington businessman Ken Block are facing off in the primary for governor.

Fung raised $131,535 in the first quarter and finished with $444,689 in his campaign account as of March 31, according to his filing with the Board of Elections. His campaign said the mayor is more than halfway to raising the $1.127 million necessary for him to receive matching funds from the state for the general election.

Block raised $69,412 in the first quarter and finished with $653,119 in his campaign account as of March 31, his Board of Elections filing showed.

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

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