Moderate candidate Healey could impact governor’s race

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A late entrant to the race for Rhode Island governor could mean trouble for the two major campaigns.

It was announced Thursday that Robert Healey would run for the Moderate Party in place of James Spooner, who had to drop out of the race for medical reasons.

Healey has never won a statewide election, but because he’s tried so many times, his sudden entrance into the governor’s race means he comes with a decent amount of name recognition.

A strong believer in third parties, Healey often ran as a member of the Cool Moose Party. Eyewitness News Political Analyst said Healey presents an alternative to Republican Allan Fung and Democrat Gina Raimondo in the general election in November, and believes he will draw some votes.

“People who are saying ‘I cannot vote for Allan Fung because of the right to work, I can’t vote for Gina because of what she did to my pension,’ there’s now an option of somebody else to vote for,” Fleming said. “He’ll pick up that vote those people who cannot vote for either one of them.”

Secretary of State records show that Healey has run for statewide office six times, albeit unsuccessfully. He ran for governor in 1986, 1994, and 1998, and for lieutenant governor in 2002, 2006, and 2010, in which he promised to eliminate the position if he won.

Even though he lost to Elizabeth Roberts in the 2010 election, he did manage to pull in 39 percent of the vote.

There are also two Independent candidates in the race – Leon Kayarian and Kate Fletcher.

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