Rhode Island’s Democratic governor survives competitive primary

Associated Press/David Goldman
Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee speaks to supporters after casting his vote in the state’s primary election at the Community School, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, in Cumberland, R.I.

Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee (D) is projected to move one step closer to winning his first full term in the governor’s mansion, overcoming a competitive primary to score the Democratic nomination.

The Associated Press called the race at 11:01 p.m. ET.

McKee, who previously served as lieutenant governor, ascended to the role of Rhode Island’s top executive after former Gov. Gina Raimondo was tapped to lead the Commerce Department under the Biden administration. 

Despite his incumbency, McKee faced a competitive race for the Democratic nomination against Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea and former CVS Health executive Helena Foulkes. Recent polling showed McKee leading his rivals by only a few percentage points.

McKee also faced scrutiny over an ongoing FBI investigation into whether his administration improperly awarded a multimillion-dollar education contract to a firm connected to a longtime ally. 

He was also outspent by Foulkes, who dropped nearly $4 million in the primary. McKee, meanwhile, spent about $2 million.

McKee is expected to face health care executive Ashley Kalus, the likely Republican nominee, in the November general election, though he is heavily favored to win, given Rhode Island’s strong Democratic tilt.

Tags Dan McKee Gina Raimondo Rhode Island

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