By Dan McGowan
Providence Mayor Angel Taveras raised nearly $177,000 in the first quarter of 2013 as he gears up for a likely run for governor next year, WPRI.com has learned.
The first-term Democrat posted his second-best fundraising period since taking office in 2011 and now has more than $560,000 cash on hand. Only General Treasurer Gina Raimondo, who may challenge Taveras in a Democratic primary in 2014, has more in her campaign war chest (Raimondo has not released her first quarter figure, but she had $1.36 million in the bank as of Dec. 31).
“The mayor is excited about the momentum and all the support he has received,” campaign finance director Peter Baptista told WPRI.com. Baptista said Taveras will be meeting with high profile Democrats around the country in the coming months.
Taveras’ new fundraising tally was announced in the same week that California Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez hosted a Los Angeles fundraiser for the mayor. Sanchez told the Orange County Register she is “glad to support him as he seeks higher office.”
“Angel Taveras is a smart, innovative leader, and I consider him to be a rising star in our party,’ Sanchez told the Register in an e-mail. “Last month, Mayor Taveras was selected from more than 300 mayors across the country as the winner of Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Challenge. His winning idea is to address the ‘word gap’ faced by children in underserved communities by tracking their words through technology – just one example of his fresh thinking.”
Sanchez’s fundraiser will not be counted until Taveras’ second quarter campaign finance report.
Taveras isn’t expected to make a final decision regarding his political future until later this year, but polls show he and Raimondo are the two most popular politicians in the state. Gov. Lincoln Chafee, who is considered the most vulnerable governor in the country, has indicated he plans to run for re-election.