PROVIDENCE ― Former CVS executive Helena Buonanno Foulkes has amassed more than $1 million in campaign cash as she prepares to compete in the upcoming, hotly contested Democratic primary for governor.
Foulkes announced that she was entering the race in October 2020, but she won’t be required to file her first campaign finance reporting until Jan. 31. So it has been unclear how much she had in her campaign account, until now.
On Wednesday, the Foulkes campaign said it had collected $1.07 million during the fourth quarter of 2021, including $965,000 raised from individual donations and $100,000 of her own money. She will end the quarter with $830,000 in cash on hand.
The full quarterly finance report won’t be filed with the state Board of Elections until the end of the month. So it remains unclear who donated to Foulkes campaign.
“We are incredibly grateful for the remarkable outpouring of support Helena’s campaign has received over the last few months, and are fully prepared to win this race,” campaign spokeswoman Audrey Lucas said. “Every day, our team builds more momentum as we get our message out to voters.”
Lucas said the $965,000 in donations is the most ever raised by a Rhode Island gubernatorial candidate in a non-election year. The previous record was $562,153 raised by former governor Gina M. Raimondo during the fourth quarter of 2017, she said.
Richard E. Thornton, director of campaign finance for the Board of Elections, said he believes Raimondo held the record for gubernatorial donations in a non-election year and that former gubernatorial candidate Clay Pell placed more than $1 million of his own money into his campaign account in 2013, a non-election year. He said campaign records were not immediately available to check on the totals for former gubernatorial candidate Myrth York, who ran in 1994, 1998, and 2002.
The cash haul will immediately catapult Foulkes past some, but not all, of her Democratic rivals in terms of campaign funding.
At the end of the third quarter of 2021, General Treasurer Seth Magaziner led the field with $1.58 million in his campaign account. Governor Daniel J. McKee had $800,682. Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea had $749,284. Former secretary of state Matt Brown had $58,886, and Dr. Luis Daniel Muñoz had $5,600.