Allan Fung

Elisabeth Harrison

As the days tick down before the November election, we’re looking at the major issues and the candidates in Rhode Island’s race for governor. Today in our Rhody Votes ’14 coverage, Rhode Island Public Radio education reporter Elisabeth Harrison delves into the front runners' positions on education, from expanding charter schools to preparing graduates for the workforce needs of the 21st Century.

On the heels of a heated debate, the front runners in the race for governor continued the sparring Wednesday.

Republican Allan Fung is criticizing Democratic rival Gina Raimondo for not having attending a board meeting of Rhode Island Housing in more than a year. Given a series of problems at the agency, Fung says Raimondo should have personally attended meetings to offer oversight.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

There’s a photograph on Cranston Mayor Allan Fung’s desk of his first inauguration. He’s being sworn into the mayor’s office he has the family Bible and his parents are by his side. “I can see the pride in my mom’s eyes, in my dad’s eyes as I was getting sworn in,” said Fung.

He looks at this photo almost every day, “and it just reminds me of who I am and how far they’ve come, and because of what they did I’m where I am.”

With precisely two weeks to go until Rhode Islanders elect a new governor, supporters of Democrat Gina Raimondo have launched a series of efforts to support her campaign while trying to erode backing for Republican opponent Allan Fung.

The approaches include the commercial aired by a new independent group with Democratic ties, the Alliance for a Better Rhode Island.

RIPR FILE

The three main candidates for governor will square off during a televised debate Tuesday evening.

Democrat Gina Raimondo, Republican Allan Fung, and Moderate Party candidate Robert Healey will take part in the 7 pm debate at the Providence Performing Arts Center. The forum will be the first televised debate since Raimondo and Fung won their respective party primaries on September 9th.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

This week we’re looking at the three main candidates running for governor. Yesterday we went on the campaign trail with Democrat Gina Raimondo, today Rhode island Public Radio’s Scott MacKay catches up with the Moderate Party candidate, Bob Healey.

Tomorrow we profile the Republican running for governor, Allan Fung. You can find all of our election coverage at the Rhody Votes section of our website here.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Gina Raimondo has enjoyed a meteoric rise since winning office as Rhode Island’s general treasurer in 2010, and she could make history November 4 as the state’s first woman governor. Raimondo has received national media attention for spearheading the 2011 overhaul of the state pension system. Yet pension cuts have left some of the public employees who form a key part of the Democratic coalition angry at Raimondo.

Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. We're getting down to the wire, with just more than 2 weeks until Rhode Island's Election Day 2014. Your tips and thoughts are always welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and I welcome you to follow me on the twitters. (TGIF items are briefer than usual this week due to some time-consuming projects; cry me a river, right?)

RIPR FILE

The major candidates for Rhode Island governor have spent much of their campaigns focused on the economy. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay on what they aren’t telling voters.

All of the Rhode Island political campaigns this year are talking about our state’s sluggish economy. In the governor’s contest between Republican Allan Fung, the Cranston mayor, and Democrat Gina Raimondo, the state treasurer, jobs and the economy often seem to be the only topic.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Warwick is a key city in Rhode Island’s race for governor, and with 12 percent of voters still undecided, Democrat Gina Raimondo has a slight lead over Republican Allan Fung. 

As part of our Rhody Votes '14 election coverage, Rhode Island Public Radio education reporter Elisabeth Harrison sat down with a group of parents from Warwick’s Cedar Hill Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization to find out what they think of the candidates.

She started out by asking what they see as the most important issue in the governor’s race.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

Some 150 people showed up for fundraiser featuring former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in support of GOP gubernatorial candidate Allan Fung. The Fung campaign said the event with the former GOP presidential candidate is estimated to have raised more than $50,000.

Romney said he’s endorsed Fung since the primary because Fung will improve schools and help people get better jobs.  Romney said the national Republican Party thinks the governor’s race is a race Fung can win.

As election day nears, luminaries of all stripes are weighing in on the candidates. Now comes Rev. Thomas J. Tobin, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, with advice for practicing Catholics on how to cast their ballots.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

President Obama has endorsed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo.  

Raimondo’s campaign detailed the president’s support in a statement.  President Obama says Raimondo has the business experience to create jobs, and the ability to bring people together to solve tough problems.  The president was slated to appear at Rhode Island College Thursday, but canceled to focus on the ongoing Ebola crisis.

Meanwhile, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney is due to visit Providence Thursday to campaign for Raimondo’s Republican opponent, Allan Fung.

In a boost for Gina Raimondo as she tries to gain support among union households, two of the most influential labor leaders in the state -- RI AFL-CIO president George Nee and Robert Walsh, executive director of the National Education Association Rhode Island -- on Wednesday expressed their personal support for the Democratic gubernatorial candidate.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A new poll from WPRI and the Providence Journal, shows Democrat Gina Raimondo has a 6 percentage point lead over Republican Allan Fung.  

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