Raimondo’s re-election fund tops $3.3M; Fung on top among Republicans

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo maintained a yawning fundraising advantage over her potential rivals through the end of 2017, while Republican hopeful Allan Fung led the pack among his party’s candidates.

The first-term incumbent raised about $567,000 in campaign contributions during the three-month period ended Dec. 31, according to a report filed late Wednesday night with the R.I. Board of Elections. The latest round of donations brought Raimondo’s campaign cash on hand to $3.35 million, a huge amount in Rhode Island.

The governor’s campaign spent $300,000 during the quarter, from $51,000 with her polling firm Expedition Strategies to about $2,000 with Alaska Airlines.

In the Republican primary, Fung retained his financial edge over House Minority Leader Patricia Morgan, though both have millions of dollars less than the governor.

Fung, who was the Republican nominee for governor in 2014, took in about $175,000 in donations during the fall quarter. He spent nearly all the money he took in, paying nearly $164,000 for advertising, consulting and other expenses. Fung had about $241,000 cash on hand at the end of the year.

Fung’s donors included Sean Spicer, President Trump’s former White House press secretary and a Rhode Island native, who gave him the maximum $1,000 donation.

Morgan took in about $30,000, far less than Fung. But she also spent less than him – just $3,600 – so she finished the year with about $117,000 cash on hand.

A third Republican candidate, businessman Giovanni Feroce, has not yet opened a campaign account with the Board of Elections. He indicated on Twitter he plans to do so later in the year.

Joseph Trillo, a former GOP state lawmaker running for governor as an independent, raised just $6,550 during the quarter but spent nearly $11,000. He finished the year with about $127,000 cash on hand, much of which came from a loan he gave to his campaign.

While Raimondo is on track to have significantly more money in her own campaign account than her Republican rivals, that may not be the case when it comes to support from their respective parties. The Republican Governors Association said Wednesday it raised $63 million in 2017 to support its candidates, while the Democratic Governors Association raised $35 million.

Here’s a quick overview of the financial picture in other major races.

Lieutenant Governor: State Rep. Aaron Regunberg maintained a significant financial advantage over incumbent Dan McKee in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor. Regunberg raised about $81,000 during the fall quarter, finishing the year with roughly $276,000 cash on hand. McKee raised about $67,000, finishing with roughly $127,000.

Attorney General: Incumbent Democrat Peter Kilmartin is term-limited and cannot seek re-election in 2018. Former U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha, a Democrat and so far the only announced candidate to succeed Kilmartin, got off to a fast start in his first three months of fundraising. Neronha raised about $201,000 during the fall quarter, finishing the year with about $158,000 on hand.

Secretary of State: Incumbent Democrat Nellie Gorbea has drawn no announced challengers so far. She had about $146,000 on hand as of Dec. 31 after raising about $52,000 during the quarter.

General Treasurer: Incumbent Democrat Seth Magaziner has drawn no announced challengers so far. He had about $428,000 on hand as of Dec. 31 after raising about $68,000 during the quarter.

General Assembly: Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello took in about $62,000 during the quarter, finishing with about $267,000 in his account on Dec. 31. Democratic Senate President Dominick Ruggerio took in about $77,000 during the quarter, finishing with almost $164,000 in his account on Dec. 31.

Ted Nesi (tnesi@wpri.com) covers politics and the economy for WPRI.com. He is a weekly panelist on Newsmakers and hosts Executive Suite. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook

An earlier version of this story gave an incorrect figure for Lt. Gov. Dan McKee’s cash on hand.