Fung announces candidacy for governor

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Cranston Mayor Allan Fung announced his candidacy as a Republican for governor on Tuesday at 5 p.m. in Cranston.

The announcement comes one day after House Minority Leader Patricia Morgan announced she’s also running for the Republican nomination.

In the above video, Eyewitness News political analyst Joe Fleming discusses the 2018 race for governor.

Fung teased the announcement in a news release Monday, describing only a “special announcement” was going to take place. But at the top of the page was a “Fung Governor” logo.

Former State Representative Joe Trillo is also considering a run for the Republican ticket, telling Eyewitness News on Monday he is “99% in.”

Eyewitness News Political Analyst Joe Fleming joined Eyewitness News This Morning in studio Tuesday morning, saying it’s too early to declare a likely nominee despite Fung’s victory in the Republican primary in 2014.

As a more moderate Republican, Fleming said Fung could be a more approachable candidate in the general election. But he may struggle in the primary against Trillo, who has been a vocal and early supporter of President Trump. Trump garnered heavy support from Rhode Island Republicans in the presidential primary last year.

As for Morgan, Fleming said while she is not as well-known as Fung, she has a fighting chance if she campaigns well and gets a jump on fundraising. He said gaining name recognition could allow the West Warwick Repbulican to surge in popularity and secure the nomination.

At this point, it is unclear if Governor Raimondo will face opposition within her own party. Former Governor Lincoln Chafee has floated the possibility of running in 2018, but has not announced an official decision. Lt. Governor Dan McKee has also raised speculation that he might consider a run, after declaring he’ll make an announcement about his “political future” in November. McKee has not said if he’s considering challenging Raimondo.