Deepwater Wind hosting post-election Mattiello fundraiser

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello isn’t waiting long to start refilling his campaign coffers after an expensive re-election race.

Mattiello has scheduled an early-evening fundraiser for Dec. 1 at the offices of Deepwater Wind, according to an invitation obtained by Eyewitness News. Suggested contributions are $250 to $1,000.

Deepwater was chosen by former Gov. Don Carcieri’s administration in 2008 to build an offshore wind farm along Rhode Island’s coast and later received the General Assembly’s support to win a long-term contract with National Grid.

RSVPs for the fundraiser are being collected by a Deepwater employee, the invitation says. Donations can be made to either Mattiello’s campaign account or his political action committee, the Fund for Democratic Leadership.

The fundraiser’s host committee is listed as Warwick Rep. Joe Shekarchi, picked this month as Mattiello’s new House majority leader; Jeff Britt, a political consultant who helped run Mattiello’s re-election campaign; Kenneth Goodreau, an investment adviser who previously served as the state’s chief investment officer; Jeff Grybowski, Deepwater’s CEO and Carcieri’s former chief of staff; Jonathan Savage, a prominent attorney who is legal counsel to the R.I. Commerce Corporation; and George Zainyeh, a lobbyist and former chief of staff to Gov. Lincoln Chafee.

Mattiello spent $186,000 out of his campaign account from July 1 to Oct. 31 as he fought off a challenge from Republican Steven Frias, though not all the money went to his own race. His PAC spent an additional $72,000 between July 1 and Sept. 30. The two accounts had about $274,000 combined as of their most recent filings.

The fundraiser invitation emerged the same day the R.I. Board of Elections conducted a recount in the Mattiello-Frias contest, which showed the speaker with a lead of 85 votes over Frias.

Ted Nesi (tnesi@wpri.com) covers politics and the economy for WPRI.com. He writes The Saturday Morning Post and hosts Executive Suite. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Dan McGowan (dmcgowan@wpri.com) covers politics and the city of Providence for WPRI.com. Follow him on Twitter: @danmcgowan