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What can Governor Raimondo do with the remaining $704,000 in her campaign account?

Spoiler alert: State law says it can’t be put toward a condo for the Commerce secretary.

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo in her office at the Rhode Island Statehouse in Providence, Jan. 18, 2019.
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo in her office at the Rhode Island Statehouse in Providence, Jan. 18, 2019.GRETCHEN ERTL/NYT

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Happy Friday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and in keeping with my preseason picks, I’m taking the Bills and the Buccaneers this weekend. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.

ICYMI: Rhode Island was up to 108,786 confirmed coronavirus cases on Thursday, after adding 698 new cases in the last day. The most-recent daily test-positive rate was 3.5 percent, and the first-time positive rate was 19.2 percent. The state announced 18 more deaths, bringing the total to 2,076. There were 379 people in the hospital, and 50,637 residents had received the first dose of the vaccine.


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Governor Gina Raimondo’s financial disclosure with the federal government offers details on where she and her husband draw their income and some of their investments (spoiler: she’s not quite as wealthy as outgoing Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross), but there was one bank account that she wasn’t required to address in the filing: her campaign account.

Raimondo will be leaving office with $704,000 in her state campaign account and just over $400 in her political action committee account, but state law prohibits her from using that money for a down payment on a sweet condo in Washington, D.C. or to cover any other personal expenses.

So what will she do with that money?

A spokesperson for campaign said Raimondo is still consulting with lawyers about her options, but Rhode Island Board of Elections’ campaign finance director Richard Thornton spelled it out clearly in an email for the Globe.


Thornton said Raimondo can continue to hold the money her campaign account, donate to other candidates, political organizations or PACs (within the state’s legal limits), transfer the money to a new PAC or ballot question advocate, donate to a nonprofit, donate to the state of Rhode Island, or return the money to her donors.

It’s worth noting that there are plenty of former politicians who still maintain campaign funds (just in case they get the itch to run again). For example, former Attorney General Patrick Lynch has more than $270,000 in his account.

It’s highly unlikely that Raimondo will return from Washington, D.C. some day and have the overwhelming desire to run for Providence mayor (or any local office), but there is one other option to consider: Raimondo has spent most her political career dismissing questions about whether she wants to run for US Senate down the line, but she could attempt to convert the money in her local campaign account to a federal campaign account at some point.

It’s not as simple as it sounds, as US Representative David Cicilline learned in 2010 when he was mayor of Providence and launched his campaign for Congress. At the time, Cicilline refunded $639,000 in campaign contributions to donors, but most of those refunds ended up being donated to his federal campaign.


⚓ Ed Fitzpatrick’s look at the highest-paid state employees is already getting a ton of buzz on social media. Check it out. Read more


⚓ Brown University School of Public Health Dean Dr. Ashish Jha is among the public health experts who are praising President Joe Biden’s plan for the US to rejoin the World Health Organization. Read more.

⚓Rhode Island officials are asking the public for patience when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine. Read more.

⚓ Elsewhere: The Providence Journal has hired executive David Ng as its executive editor. Read more.

⚓ Rhode Map readers have sent a round of Happy Birthday wishes to: Cortney NicolatoStephen Hug, (65), Caroline Dylag (29), Jordan DaySuzanne Da Silva Jerzyk, Liam O’Brien (6), Lorne AdrainAdam Stearnbourne (41), state Representative June SpeakmanPaul MouraBenny Murro (6), Serena ConleyRyan Dean (34), Robert RutleyEmmanuel FalckDave Cooley (58), Scott Ritch, and Owen Dennen (15).


⚓ Social justice: The Globe has launched a new program that will allow people to ask the newspaper to update or anonymize past coverage of them online. Read more.

⚓ Politics: Here are six under-the-radar changes from former President Donald Trump’s administration to President Biden’s administration. Read more.

⚓ Opinion: Yale professor Bruce Ackerman has a provocative piece in the Globe arguing that neither Chief Justice John Roberts nor Vice President Kamala Harris should preside over the Trump impeachment trial. Read more.

⚓ Sports: My colleague Michael Silverman looks at when pro athletes might get the COVID-19 vaccine. Read more.


Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what’s happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at RInews@globe.com.

⚓ The state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Subcommittee is meeting at 7:30 a.m. to discuss phase two of Rhode Island’s vaccination plan. 

⚓ The Gordon School is hosting a virtual conversation at 8:45 a.m. with U.S. District Chief Judge Jack McConnell. It’s free and open to the public.


⚓ At noon, the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice at Brown University is hosting another edition of its “This is America” series, which explores anti-Black racism in the US. 

⚓ Ed Fitzpatrick is a guest on “A Lively Experiment” on Rhode Island PBS tonight. 

⚓ Do you ❤ Rhode Map? Your subscription is what makes it possible. We’ve got a great offer here

Dan McGowan can be reached at dan.mcgowan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @danmcgowan.