2018 Governor’s Race Playbook: It is a Brawl in June — Can the Pace Continue?

Monday, June 18, 2018

 

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The race for governor already has the intensity of a late October election cycle, and it is just early June.

It is a race with vicious intensity. Two weeks ago, Governor Gina Raimondo was the loser and this past week nearly every candidate took a hit.

Raimondo’s administration failed to file another legal appeal costing the state thousands. Her endorsement from civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis became a political embarrassment.

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung took his hits, too. Fung had a lot of explaining to do about the rent agreement he had with mega-developer Fred Carpionato’s company, but a GoLocal investigation also unveiled the U.S. Senator had an unusual lease agreement with the developer at his Chapel View property.

A number of candidates criticized the Fung-Carpionato arrangement and none was more aggressive in the critique than Independent candidate Joe Trillo — he says Fung’s rent issue is nothing more than a “conman’s game, played by someone who is trying to beat the system.”

“For Allan Fung to think he can outsmart the Rhode Island Board of Elections, and pay little to no rent for the past 3 election cycles, is no surprise to me.  Allan Fung now claims there was an oversight in the paperwork his campaign filed, and thinks that everything he does should be forgiven.  Guess what, we’re not forgiving him on this one.  The only thing Allan Fung is sorry for, is that he got caught.  Allan Fung is one of the most dishonest politicians in the state of Rhode Island.  His ego is so big, that he thinks he can spit in the face of the Board of Elections, and the taxpayers of Rhode Island, by playing fast and loose with campaign contributions given to him by those who mistakenly trust him, as well as the law,” said Trillo.

There are now eight declared candidates - late last week Democrat Paul Roselli announced that he was going to run for State Senate instead and threw his support to Democratic challenger Matt Brown.

 

Related Slideshow: 2018 Governor’s Race Playbook - June 18, 2018

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Momentum: Up

Matt Brown (D)

Wins:

Scored points on Governor Gina Raimondo all week.

De facto rescued the John Lewis endorsement.

Hit the governor on reproductive rights.

Created separation on the issues of Partners HealthCare and the PawSox.

He is running hard to Raimondo's left. 

Losses:

N/A

X-Factor:  Had the strongest week of all the candidates.

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Momentum: Flat

Joe Trillo (I)

Wins:

Independent Joe Trillo keeps firing criticism at both GOP candidate Allan Fung and sitting Democrat Gina Raimondo. The nearly daily press release has criticized the two on a range of issues. He is ignoring the other candidates -- including his former fellow GOP House member Patricia Morgan.

Losses:

 

No word if President Donald Trump will endorse Trillo who served as the President's state chair in 2016.

X-Factor:  If Trillo is trying to win the governorship, he needs to attract some voters beyond the core Trump-base of 20 percent. 

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Momentum: Flat

Patricia Morgan (R)

Wins:

House Minority Leader Morgan criticized Allan Fung on his rent issues, but was unable to develop any momentum at the General Assembly in fighting the Democrats' budget. The budget passed 66-7.

Losses:

A quip on talk radio by Morgan about GOP-rival Allan Fung "digging a hole to China" may not have been the best words to describe a Chinese- American. It drew fire from Fung's wife.

X-Factor: Up and down week -- needs some consistent forward momentum.

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Momentum: Flat

Gina Raimondo (D)

Wins: 

Governor Gina Raimondo had another difficult week. John Lewis' de facto retraction of his endorsement was embarrassing. More faux pas in her administration and little forward momentum. But, the fundraising machine cranked forward. Two top board members of Partners HealthCare hosted a major Boston fundraiser at the BC Club on Friday morning. The $1,000 per person event was expected to raise as much as $200,000. Partners is in the midst of purchasing RI's Care New England.

Losses:

The "competency" issue may decide the race. Her administration took a hit when on Friday, GoLocal first reported that Commerce RI has hired Joseph Riccio — the one-time director of the Bridgeport Port Authority who spent more than $35,000 in less than three years attending conferences around the country and guys gifts and meals using the public agency's credit cards.

X-Factor: The word of the week -- competency

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Momentum: Down

Giovanni Feroce (R)

Wins:

No press releases. No press events. 

Losses:

Crickets.

X-Factor: What happened to the man of action?

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Momentum: Down

Luis Daniel Muñoz (I)

Wins:

N/A

Losses:

N/A

X-Factor: No press statement. No additional announced platform initiatives. No endorsements.

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Momentum: Down

Spencer Dickinson (D)

Wins:

Paul Roselli leaving the race was Dickinson's biggest win.

Losses:

Dickinson stayed out of the Fung Rentgate issue.

X-Factors:  Questions emerging, will he stay in the race?

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Momentum:Down

Allan Fung (R)

Wins:

It was Fung's roughest week as Rentgate emerged. The fact that nearly every candidate hammered on Fung may be an indication of his leadership position in the race.

Losses:

Fung handled the questions about the missing rent checks quickly, but needs to ensure that this is an aberration and not the beginning of a series of blunders.

X-Factor:  Needs to get back on the offense quickly.

 
 

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