PROVIDENCE — Warwick Republican Raymond T. McKay plans to challenge Democratic US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse in the 2024 US Senate race.
McKay has scheduled an announcement for 3:30 p.m. May 4 at The Event Factory Performing Arts Centre in Warwick.
McKay, 62, worked for 26 years as the network and telecommunications manager and administrator for the City of Warwick, and he served for 11 years in the US Army.
“I am running for the United States Senate because Sheldon Whitehouse offers no practical solutions to Rhode Islanders,” McKay said in a statement Monday. “We the people see interest rates rise, gas prices seesaw, nonstop inflation cutting into our earnings, escalating energy costs that hurt everyone, especially the poor and middle class, and now EPA proposals that harm union workers.”
McKay called for new leadership in Washington, D.C., saying, “This nation has offered so much to so many through the generations. But for the past several years, I see that road to the American Dream being twisted and harder to navigate for thoughtful hard-working Americans.”
When asked for response to McKay’s candidacy, Whitehouse issued a statement saying, “I look forward to making a formal announcement about my reelection campaign when the time is right. For now, I’m focused on continuing to deliver results for Rhode Islanders, and I’m working hard every single day to grow the economy, fight the country’s biggest special interests, and lead our planet to climate safety.”
McKay would face long odds in a campaign against Whitehouse, the former attorney general and US Attorney for Rhode Island who joined the Senate in 2007 and is now chair of the Senate Budget Committee.
McKay has $7,230 in his campaign account, while Whitehouse has $1.89 million, according to Federal Election Commission reports.
This marks the second time McKay has scheduled a US Senate campaign announcement.
In 2014, he planned to run against Democratic US Senator Jack Reed. But when he scheduled an announcement at the Elks Lodge in West Greenwich, Warwick’s personnel director told him a campaign announcement would be viewed as tendering his resignation, saying a city ordinance prevented him from running while serving as a “classified” employee.
He pursued the matter in state and federal court but did not prevail and did not end up running for the US Senate. Since then, he has retired.
McKay ran for the state Senate District 17 seat in 1998, losing to then-Senator William A. Walaska, a Warwick Democrat who received 73.3 percent of the vote to his 26.5 percent.
From 2005 through 2014, McKay served as president of the Rhode Island Republican Assembly, a group that bills itself as the “Republican wing of the Republican Party” and that is part of the National Federation of Republican Assemblies.