The Democratic side of the 2014 race for secretary of state is quickly heating up, with Nellie Gorbea making formal her entry to the tilt and wealthy Newporter Guillaume de Ramel helping to fill his campaign coffers with cash.
In a news release, de Ramel's campaign says it will report raising nearly $110,000 during the second quarter that ended July 31. The release says de Ramel will have a campaign balance in excess of $300,000 after a "personal investment" by the candidate.
Gorbea has left her post of the nonprofit advocacy group HousingWorksRI and says she's pursuing a race for secretary of state. She's up with a Web site for her campaign.
Gorbea says she's raised a little more than $60,000 in about a month. Gorbea is a native of Puerto Rico who helped to elevate the level of Latino political activism in Rhode Island running up to the 2002 election season. She served as a top aide to former secretary of state Matt Brown and says she's running for SoS because she "wants to change the way that government works for people."
"I want to make sure that our elections are fair, that they're held with integrity and that eligible voters can and do vote. Of course, the office should make it easy to do business in Rhode Island -- that's a given -- but I want to do better than that. I want to make Rhode Island's economy more competitive by making the information about our businesses more accessible. And we need to of course shed a light on how government works, what it does, who's trying to influence government, how much they're being paid."
Another contestant in the three-way Democratic field, former state Democratic Party chairman Ed Pacheco, says he's raised $25,000 so far and will be participating in the state's matching funds program.
Rhode Island's current secretary of state, Ralph Mollis, is term-limited from seeking re-election and is eyeing the lieutenant governor's office.
(Disclosure: de Ramel's family is a contributor to Rhode Island Public Radio.)
This post has been updated.