Don’t overstate the importance of money in a Raimondo-Taveras gubernatorial showdown in 2014

Aug 9, 2012

State Treasurer Gina Raimondo’s impressive fundraising prowess will be among her assets if — as many expect – she runs for governor in 2014. Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, another prospective contender for the post,lagged behind Raimondo ($258,155) in Q2 even though he had solid numbers ($114,810).

But money isn’t everything in some contests, and there’s no guarantee the candidate with the biggest war chest will win the next gubernatorial election.

Back in the 2010 race, Democrat Frank Caprio dropped $2.7 million on a third-place finish. Independent Lincoln Chafee spent $2.5 million while edging Republican John Robitaille for the victory.

It’s true, too, that Taveras won the Providence mayor’s office in 2010 while being significantly outspent by Steven Costantino (and with John Lombardi’s spending coming close behind Taveras):

• Costantino – $787,088.57
• Taveras – $422,610
• Lombardi – $349,610.50

Taveras outraised Raimondo last year. So he can be expected to have enough campaign dough to compete should — or when — the two rising star Democrats go head to head.

Money is a far bigger factor in races where congressional incumbents, for example, face challenges from under-funded rivals.

But campaign cash is just one of the important components for winning a statewide race.