NEW: Fung Announces Endorsement From 24 City, Town GOP Chairs
Monday, December 09, 2013
“I am honored to have the support of the Chairs of many Republican City and Town Committees,” said Fung. “With so many among the State Party leadership who already have joined our effort, the endorsements of these local leaders help to demonstrate the depth of support for my campaign for Governor among rank and file Party members as well. I am very grateful for the hard work of the City and Town Republican committees to support our local candidates and I welcome the twenty four Committee Chairs who have come on board.”
Nick Lima, Chairman of the Republican City Committee in Cranston expressed his support for Fung, stating, “Mayor Fung has shown tremendous leadership in the City of Cranston and he is the best candidate to bring common sense and fiscal responsibility to the office of Governor of Rhode Island. Mayor Fung’s appeal is evident from his success in bringing jobs to the City of Cranston and creating a budget surplus without raising taxes. It is easy to understand why the voters of the City of Cranston overwhelmingly support Mayor Fung and I look forward to helping the Fung for Governor Campaign.”
In 2010, Fung was re-elected as Mayor with more than 70 percent of the vote; and in 2012, Fung was reelected without opposition. The members of the City and Town Committees are expected to begin voting on committee endorsements after January 1st.
Here are the Republican City and Town Committee Chairs who have personally endorsed Fung for Governor:
Bill McKernan – Block Island
Nick Lima - Cranston
Jim Sullivan - Coventry
Chuck Newton - East Greenwich
Diane Allen – Exeter
Bruce Campbell - Foster
Ted Burlingame - Glocester
Amy Gallagher - Jamestown
Pat Hagan - Little Compton
Antone Viveros – Middletown
Meg Rodgers - Narragansett
Barbara Ann Fenton - Newport
Mike Grossi - North Providence
Ted Soly – North Smithfield
Scott Rotondo – Pawtucket
Jeff Richard - Portsmouth
Paul Michaud - Richmond
Scott Klimaj - Scituate
Roland Benjamin - South Kingstown
Frank Nencka - Warren
Mike Penta - Warwick
Rob Priolo - Westerly
Rob Butler - West Greenwich
Lee Ann Sennick - Woonsocket
10 Questions Fung Has to Answer When Running for Gov of RI
10) Can Fung raise the money necessary to be competitive?
At the last reporting period, Cranston Mayor Allan Fung's campaign had only $336,000.
Ken Block had $540,000 and he just entered the race.
Democrat Gina Raimondo has over $2.3 million and even Angel Taveras has $759,000 cash on hand.
9) Is Fung ready for prime time?
Fung is well-liked in Cranston and most everyone thinks Fung is a "nice guy."
Gina Raimondo and Angel Taveras can claim they took on tough issues.
Ken Block articulates big ideas and a proven record in business, but out of the gate Fung's campaign seems less than ready.
Fung's campaign manager got confused about how many Democrats Fung has donated to and his motivation for donating to them.
Would another four years in Cranston be the wiser path?
8) Can Fung effectively run against Angel Taveras?
Fung claims Providence Mayor Angel Taveras as a close friend, but it raises questions about inherent personal conflicts and ability to run and effective race.
Politics in Rhode Island is often a blood sport, will Fung approve that knockout punch TV spot in the closing weeks that tags Taveras for the spiraling crime problem in Providence?
7) Is Fung's base big enough?
For Mayor Fung, his base is Cranston, but he does not enjoy a groundswell of Hispanic voters like Providence Mayor Angel Taveras hopes to bank on (7% of the voters were Hispanic in the General Election in 2012, according to Pew Research).
A race against Raimondo would be tough as she would very likely have a strong block of female voters.
Where does Fung get his votes?
6) Can Fung defend the tax increases in Cranston?
When Fung runs as a Republican against a Democrat, there is an advantage if Fung can point out a differentiation of fiscal discipline. Fung, as Mayor, had numerous and significant residential and commercial tax increases.
This will not help him against the fiscally prudent Ken Block, but even if he were to win the primary then he would lose the advantage against Angel Taveras in a General Election. Both have ushered large tax increases through their councils.
5) Why pledge to create "20,000 jobs"? It sounds like Don Carcieri.
Don't know if Fung was paying attention, but GOP Governor Don Carcieri ran on...creating 20,000 new jobs.
When Carcieri left office, Rhode Island had the worst unemployment in America. Not sure Fung wants to mirror that Carcieri pledge.
4) Defending Don Carcieri and making him a part of the campaign - is that a good idea?
The collapse of 38 Studios has scarred Don Carcieri's legacy as Governor of Rhode Island. At best, Carcieri was star struck to give a baseball player $75 million -- at worse, Carcieri was part of something far more ominous.
For Fung, who wants to run as the future of Rhode Island, why be associated with Don Carcieri?
3) Defending the lobbyist role?
In 2014, do we think Rhode Islanders will be looking for a former lobbyist for a large corporation that is cutting Rhode Islander's jobs to be our next Governor?
Lobbyist-turned-Governor will be tougher to pull off than actor Ronald Reagan-turned-Governor of California in the 1960's.
2) Understand the changing position on gay marriage?
Hard to know what Allan Fung's position is on gay marriage. At different times he offered a range of views.
Some GOP primary voters have been opposed to the RI law and others were supportive, but neither segment of the GOP may understand what his position was -- or is.
1) Political donations to local, federal and national Democrats - are you sure you are a Republican?
Fung has given to David Cicilline, US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, former RI Senate President Bill Irons and once RI Attorney General Patrick Lynch. Fung's campaign manager claims he was a lobbyist and needed to donate to Democratic leaders. Cicilline, Reid and Lynch meet none of those criteria.
Not only did Fung give thousands of his own dollars to Dems, he turned down requests from leading GOP candidates like John Robitalle and Jon Loughlin who were badly outspent and needed every dollar to win.
The Republican party in Rhode Island is a pretty small group trying to create a pretty big tent - from Scott Avedisian to Doreen Costa. For most Republicans in this state it is tough -- you don't enjoy the political connections and you're part of a tiny minority -- so loyalty matters.
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