Raimondo Staffs Up While Maintaining Fundraising Advantage Over Taveras

Oct 31, 2013

Although General Treasurer Gina Raimondo hasn't yet declared her expected Democratic campaign for governor, she continues to outpace Providence Mayor Angel Taveras in campaign fundraising.

During the third quarter that ended with the close of September, Raimondo raised about $412,000 (bringing her cash on hand to more than $2.3 million), while Taveras brought in $154,000 (bringing his war chest to $759,150.)

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, who is set to launch his Republican campaign for governor Monday, raised $102,000 in Q3, bringing his cash on hand to just under $337,000. Moderate-turned-Republican Ken Block loaned himself $500,000, bringing his campaign balance to $547,000.

In a statement, Collin Berglund, spokesman for Friends of Gina Raimondo, touted the treasurer's haul as a Rhode Island record for a candidate in a non-election year. He says more than a half of Raimondo's contributions for the quarter were for quantities of $250 or less.

Taveras formally launched his Democratic campaign Monday. He's added a campaign director, although two of his top aides are departing. Clay Pell, the grandson of the late former US Senator Claiborne Pell, is also considering a Democratic run for governor.

In related news, Berglund announced a few new hires for Friends of Gina Raimondo:

-- Smithfield native Matthew Appenfeller, who worked on Raimondo's 2010 campaign for treasurer, is the new director of research and policy for Raimondo's campaign organization. He's a graduate of Georgetown University and recently got a degree from Boston College Law School.

-- Kelly Harris, a recent URI grad who interned in Raimondo's office last spring, has come on as a finance assistant. Also hired as a finance assistant was South Kingstown native Kate Ramstad, who is due to graduate in December from Mount Holyoke College. She has previous experience as a marketing and PR assistant at Residential Properties.

In addition, Friends of Raimondo announced its consulting team:

-- Peter Brodnitz, a principal at the Benenson Strategy Group, will work on research and polling. According to Berglund, Brodnitz "has provided strategic planning to 13 presidents and prime ministers on four continents."

-- Mark Putnam of Putnam Partners has been hired as media consultant. A graduate of Brown University, Putnam was a media consultant for President Obama's 2008 and 2012 campaigns and has worked on a number of other campaigns.

-- Central Falls native Karen Petel, a former political director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, joins Friends of Raimondo to handle direct mail. Like Brodnitz, Petel worked on Raimondo's 2010 campaign.

This post has been updated.