By Jennifer McDermott – The Associated Press
PROVIDENCE, RI (AP) – Rhode Island Governor Dan Mackie clinched a victory in the Democratic primary on Tuesday, defeating tough challenges from a pair of opponents as he ran for a win. First full term in office.
Maki, a former deputy governor who became the state’s chief executive a year and a half ago when Governor Jenna Raimondo was chosen as US Secretary of Commerce, The front-runner will be in the liberal country in November against Republican Ashley Callos, a business and political novice.
McKee has outpaced former CVS CEO Helena Foulkes, who saw a belated increase in polls and garnered a last-minute endorsement from The Boston Globe’s editorial board. Foreign Minister Nelly Gorbeawho was striving to become New England’s first Latino governor, placed third.
“I am proud to be here,” the 71-year-old governor said in his victory speech. “Because Rhode Island is in a situation where we haven’t had that momentum before and we’re going to take full advantage of it.”
At an awkward moment, a phone was handed toward Maki while giving the speech. When he was told it was Volks, Mackie said, “No, that won’t happen.” As the crowd chanted “Four more years,” Mackie said, “Shut up, shut up.”
Foulkes told her supporters that she was unhappy that Mackey would not return her call.
in The last primaries Before the general election in November, voters in Rhode Island were selecting candidates for state offices, the US House of Representatives, the state legislature, and local offices. New Hampshire and Delaware also held primaries on Tuesday.
With his victory, Mackey avoided becoming the first governor to lose his primary since 2018, when Kansas Governor Jeff Collier He narrowly lost the Republican nomination to Secretary of State Chris Kopacz, who lost the general election Democrat Laura Kelly. Like Mackey, Collier took over when the current governor resigned for another job.
In his campaign, Mackey touted his leadership in navigating the state’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic after he was Sworn in as Governor in March 2021. Foulkes said she will work to find new ways for companies to invest in Rhode Island and help existing companies find new markets. Gorby argued that the state needed better leadership on issues such as housing, education and climate change.
Besides Mackie, Volks, and Gorbea, two other Democrats were also seeking the nomination: former Secretary of State Matt Brown, the progressive; and community activist Dr. Luis Daniel Muñoz.
Kallos easily defeated her only Republican challenger, Jonathan Richitelli, who The Globe reported He has been arrested dozens of times since 2000 under a different name, on charges ranging from obstructing police officers to assault, according to court records.
Callos, who owns a COVID-19 testing company in dispute with the state over a canceled contract, moved to Rhode Island last year from Illinois and previously worked with former Illinois Republican Governor Bruce Rohner. She said Rhode Island needs a fighter like her, now more than ever, because every day it gets harder for working families.
In another big race on Tuesday, voters picked candidates in the 2nd congressional district for the vacated seat Democratic Representative Jim Langevin, who retires after more than 20 years representing the district. Langevin was the first quadriplegic to serve in Congress.
State Treasury Secretary Seth Magaziner, who Langevin endorsed, won the crowded Democratic primary. Republican Alan Fong, the former mayor of Cranston, was not opposed in his bid for the Republican nomination. National Republican leaders believe this is their best chance to flip the seat in more than three decades. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy visited Rhode Island in August to raise funds for Fung.
Magaziner was running for governor but switched races After Langevin’s announcement of trying to keep the seat in control of the Democrats. Magaziner told his supporters Tuesday night that elections are about values and preserving democracy for the next generation.
And in Congressional District One, Democratic Representative David Cicilline will face Republican Allen Waters in November. Both were unopposed Tuesday. Cecline is seeking his seventh term.
But the first race in Rhode Island on Tuesday was the Democratic gubernatorial primary. McKee and Gorbea have both benefited from the support base and name recognition they have had since being elected to state office in 2014. Foulkes has proven to be a fundraiser and has spent huge sums on the race in her first attempt at public office.
Late in the primaries, Gorbea’s campaign aired an offensive ad to criticize Mackey over the award of a controversial government contract that the FBI is now investigating. He had to withdraw the ad due to errors in it, including featuring an article by a conservative commentator who had been critical of Mackey on another issue. Mackey’s campaign said the governor would continue to go beyond dirty politics and false attacks, and show “leadership when it matters most”.
McKee is endorsed by a range of large unions, including those representing teachers, firefighters, construction trades, and auto workers. He highlighted his efforts to help the state’s economy recover from COVID-19, the gun control bills he signed into law and his efforts to protect access to abortion care.
He had his own memorable ad, called “Motha,” showing his 94-year-old mother. As he plays cards with her, he discusses the state’s economic recovery from COVID-19, eliminating the state’s auto tax, creating affordable housing, and passing gun safety laws to keep families safe.
“It wasn’t bad for a year and a half,” says the governor.
His mother Willa replied, “Not so bad for a governor who is living with his death.”
During his victory speech, Mackie outlined his accomplishments and asked the crowd, “Are you ready?” He said, “Not bad for 18 months.” Laughing, some of his supporters said Willa’s sentence, “Not bad for a ruler who lives with his mother.”
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