2018 Governor’s Race Playbook - Is Raimondo Tipping Her Hand?

Monday, July 02, 2018


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Of all the candidates for Governor, only one is in the field with constant polling. For weeks, Governor Gina Raimondo’s campaign was criticizing Allan Fung, but when the Cranston Mayor began to stumble on RentGate and a series of other missteps, Raimondo has shifted her criticism over to her Democratic challenger Matt Brown.

What drives the strategy? It may be the constant polling by Raimondo that gives her team early alert -- this week she not only recognized that Brown was running but tried to tie him to a Russian oligarch.

Over the past few weeks, Brown has been a constant nuisance to Raimondo. He has attacked her on her position on healthcare, taking campaign donations from Boston-based Partners HealthCare (after a GoLocal report unveiled a shift in policy timed with a major Boston fundraiser), her position on reproductive rights, and her flip-flop on the PawSox funding scheme.

In early June, GoLocal released the only recent independent poll conducted by John Della Volpe of the Kennedy School at Harvard.

That poll unveiled that Raimondo and Fung were tied 33-33 percent with Independent candidate Joe Trillo capturing 16 percent of the vote.

That poll was conducted before it was unveiled that the Raimondo administration’s lawyer failed to properly file legal motions and that some lawyers were not properly licensed. One lawyer has been fired and another is on leave.

The Raimondo troubles also included another missed UHIP compliance date.

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Cranston Mayor Allan Fung

June: Hell for Fung’s Campaign

June was the cruelest of months for Fung’s campaign. First, Rentgate hit. Then, when nearly every Democrat and Republican in the state condemned the policy of separating the children from the parents when undocumented aliens entered the country illegally, Fung refused to answer questions on the issue.  The non-response became the loudest voice on the issue. Even President Donald Trump had to pivot and issue an Executive Order.

Then, Fung decided to move his headquarters from the previous location at Chapel View owned by developer Caprionato properties. And, Fung moved to another Carpionato property, this time in Warwick.

The biggest hit to Fung may be that his top fundraiser — Dee Dee Witman -- announced she was running for Mayor of Providence, and that sparked a falling out between Fung and Witman leading to her departure for the campaign. For Fung, who has always struggled to raise campaign funds, the loss of Witman is a blow to his campaign’s credibility.


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