Longtime Rhode Island fundraiser Dee Dee Witman has signed on to help Republican gubernatorial candidate Allan Fung with his fundraising.
Witman led fundraising for Buddy Cianci's unsuccessful 2014 mayoral campaign, although she's better known for working with Democrats like Richard Licht, on a 1988 U.S. Senate run, and Joseph R. Paolino Jr., on a gubernatorial campaign in 1990. She was close to Mark Weiner, the influential RI Democrat who died in July 2016.
Fung is among as many as four Republicans expected to compete in a primary next September. Raimondo, a Democrat, has already raised more than $3 million for her re-election campaign.
By contrast, Fung had a balance of $229,650 at the end of the third fundraising quarter.
Witman said she likes both Fung and Raimondo, but decided to help the Cranston mayor after he asked for her help.
"The governor has a well-oiled machine," Witman said. "It's always hard to run against an incumbent."
But Witman credits Fung with doing a good job as mayor in Cranston. She said she'd like to see the cost per job of the jobs touted by Raimondo through a series of high-profile announcements. Witman also pointed to what she called an "unmanageable budget" facing the state.
Fung announced his latest campaign in October. He faces GOP competition from House Minority Leader Patricia Morgan. Former Republican Rep. Joe Trillo is announcing his campaign today. And businessman Giovanni Feroce also said he's leaning toward a Republican bid for governor.