GOP Fundraiser Tony Bucci Joins Block Campaign; Fung Returns Fire

Dec 9, 2013

Longtime GOP fundraiser Tony Bucci has joined Ken Block's Republican gubernatorial campaign as a senior adviser and finance chairman.

Block's campaign says Bucci resigned a slot on rival Republican Allan Fung's campaign committee to make the change.

Fung's campaign responded Monday afternoon with a news release citing support from 24 GOP city and town chairs across Rhode Island, adding, "As the leaders of city and town Republican committees, these Chairmen and Chairwomen represent the leadership of the grassroots effort among Rhode Island Republicans."

Jeff Britt, Block's campaign manager, called the touting of the endorsements premature at this stage of the 2014 campaign. "We haven't asked anyone for an endorsement," Britt says.

Fung's campaign released this info in its news release to bolster its case:

"In 2010, Fung was re-elected with more than 70% 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 1, 2014.

Following is a list of 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"

Fung announced an exploratory committee in September, in an apparent shot across the bow at Block.

Via a Block news release Monday morning, Bucci says, "When I learned that Ken Block would be running as a Republican, I concluded that he would be the best candidate for Rhode Island's serious problems and the strongest candidate to win the general election. He knows our state government needs to change in order to create fa pro-growth economy where business creates new jobs and he's committed to getting it done."

Bucci, a Warwick resident, served as finance chair for Brendan Doherty's 2012 congressional run and Don Carcieri's 2006 re-election campaign, as well as deputy finance chair for Carcieri's 2002 run and Lincoln Chafee's 2000 US Senate race.

Says Block, "Tony's active role in my campaign will demonstrate to other Republicans that my principles are in line with theirs, and his legendary fundraising skills will help us get the resources we need to win."

This post has been updated.