Mayor Elorza now sitting on $428K in campaign cash

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza will have plenty of cash for his re-election campaign next year.

The first-term Democrat has stockpiled $428,000 in his political campaign fund after raising $83,000 between January and March, according to a disclosure filed Monday with the R.I. Board of Elections.

Elorza has already said he plans to seek a second and final term as mayor. No one has publicly said they intend to challenge Elorza, but it’s unlikely he’ll run unopposed.

Elorza reported 211 contributions during the first quarter of 2017 that ranged from $20 to $1,000, the maximum political donation allowed by state law. His donor list includes a wide range of lawyers, lobbyists and developers who do business with the city.

Notable $1,000 contributors included developers James Karam, Aram Garabedian, and attorneys Mathew Lopes, William O’Gara, Gary Pannone, William Devereaux, and Zach Darrow. Elorza received $500 donations from developers Jason Fane, Arnold “Buff” Chace and former Red Sox slugger Mo Vaughn, who owns property in the city.

The mayor also received a $200 contribution from House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and $150 each from Rep. Mary Messier and Sen. Paul Jabour.

On the expenditure side, Elorza reported spending $22,000 on CFO Consulting Group and CFO Compliance, the two firms that handle his fundraising and reporting responsibilities. The companies were founded by Brett Smiley, the city’s former chief operating officer who now works as Gov. Gina Raimondo’s chief of staff.

Elorza’s political action committee, the One Providence PAC, reported $2,500 in expenditures, including donations to Mattiello, Senate President Dominick Ruggerio, House Majority Leader Joe Shekarchi, Reps. Dan McKiernan, Chris Blazjewski, Charlene Lima and Anastasia Williams and Sens. Ana Quezada and Josh Miller.

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