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RI POLITICS

Magaziner, McKee lead first quarter fund-raising

With 2022 governor’s race in sight, General Treasurer Seth Magaziner has the most campaign cash, with nearly $1.3 million

General Treasurer Seth Magaziner
General Treasurer Seth MagazinerJulie Brigidi

PROVIDENCE — With a highly competitive 2022 Democratic gubernatorial primary taking shape, General Treasurer Seth Magaziner raked in nearly $300,000 in the first three months of 2021, the most he’s ever raised in a quarter.

And Governor Daniel J. McKee, the former lieutenant governor who replaced Gina M. Raimondo in March, raised about $285,000 in the first quarter, more than doubling his campaign cash.

Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea took in about $159,000 in the quarter, while Providence Mayor Jorge O. Elorza received about $87,000 in that period, according to campaign finance reports filed with the state Board of Elections.

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Dr. Luis Daniel Muñoz, a former independent gubernatorial candidate who has declared he will run as a Democrat, raised $1,300.

The latest fund-raising surge leaves the campaign accounts of the potential Democratic candidates at:

  • Magaziner: $1,297,770
  • Elorza: $955,313
  • Gorbea: $546,539
  • McKee: $451,367
  • Muñoz: $1,250

It’s not yet clear who the Republican candidate for governor will be in 2022. House Minority Leader Blake A. Filippi, a Block Island Republican, raised $99, bringing his campaign account to $36,998.

Former Cranston Mayor and GOP gubernatorial candidate Allan W. Fung raised no money but received $4,000 from a “refund of excessive contribution to Georgia Senate Battleground Fund,” bringing his campaign account to $19,205.

Former Moderate Party founder and GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Block raised no money and has no money in his campaign account.

“McKee’s big bump shows the incumbent effect,” Providence College political science Professor Joseph Cammarano said. “Being the incumbent makes you much more attractive to donors, and I would expect the next quarter to show an equal to or even greater incumbent effect.”

Magaziner’s cash haul demonstrates that he is an attractive to donors and a “very capable” candidate who can draw support from progressives and from “corporate Democrats” in the financial sector who backed Raimondo, who also served as treasurer, he said.

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Gorbea remains a consistent fund-raiser and a “formidable” candidate, Cammarano said. As mayor, Elorza might not have the ability to focus on fund-raising as much as some other candidates, and it’s difficult for any Providence mayor to become governor, he said.

In all, the latest campaign cash totals show that “it’s probably going to be a competitive primary,” Cammarano said. Part of the reason for raising money early on is to deter other candidates from entering the race, he said, so it remains to be seen who will actually run.



Edward Fitzpatrick can be reached at edward.fitzpatrick@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @FitzProv.