(Reuters) – Rhode Island’s governor is the newest Democrat to face a problem from the social gathering’s left-wing flank forward of November elections as voters headed to the polls on Wednesday for the second-to-last nominating race of the yr.
FILE PHOTO: Democratic candidate for Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo speaks at a marketing campaign rally with United States first woman Michelle Obama in Windfall, Rhode Island, U.S., October 30, 2014. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photograph
Gina Raimondo, 47, a former enterprise capitalist, is battling for her social gathering’s nomination for a second time period in opposition to Matt Brown, an anti-nuclear activist and nonprofit government who served as Rhode Island’s secretary of state from 2003 to 2007 and has sworn off company donations.
Leftist Democrats have been gaining momentum in nominating contests for the Nov. 6 elections during which the social gathering is looking for to regain management of the U.S. Congress and bolster its illustration in state governments throughout the nation, the place Republicans management a majority of governorships and legislatures.
Amongst candidates who’ve pulled off upsets are Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley, who each defeated longtime incumbents in congressional primaries in New York and Massachusetts and have promised to focus on Republican President Donald Trump’s insurance policies.
Voters additionally selected candidates who ran from the left in Democratic gubernatorial nominating contests in Georgia and Florida.
Rhode Island tends to favor Democrats on the state and federal stage, however Raimondo’s approval ranges are beneath 50 p.c, in keeping with public polling.
She campaigned on her fiscal administration efforts as state treasurer to win the governorship in 2014, however a few of the measures have since stirred a backlash.
“I feel the governor is a strong favourite. However in a yr the place major turnout general has been up nationally by 84 p.c, you don’t need to take any possibilities,” mentioned Rob Horowitz, a Rhode Island Democratic political guide who will not be engaged on this marketing campaign.
There have been no opinion surveys for the nominating contest, however polling suggests November’s common election could possibly be shut. Election prediction companies fee it as both “seemingly” or “leans” Democratic.
Raimondo had $2.Four million in money readily available as of Sept. 4, in keeping with state figures. Brown had simply $83,700, together with liabilities of $286,000.
Brown has criticized Raimondo’s resolution to overtake the state’s underfunded pension plans when she was treasurer in 2011, chopping pension funds to avoid wasting billions, which angered some retirees.
He has additionally been essential of her resolution to simply accept donations from out-of-state donors, together with Wall Road executives.
Raimondo has responded to Brown by working advertisements attacking his positions and accusing him of hiding debt and cash laundering throughout a failed bid for the U.S. Senate – prompting a cease-and-desist letter from Brown’s attorneys, who mentioned the accusations have been false.
“She began working very sturdy assault advertisements in opposition to him, so that means the race both is closing or she is nervous a couple of last-minute surge,” mentioned Darrell West, vice chairman of governance research on the Brookings Institute in Washington.
The Democratic Governors Affiliation in July dropped $1 million into the race in assist of Raimondo, who gained in 2014 with 41 p.c of the vote over two different candidates, together with Allan Fung, the mayor of Cranston, Rhode Island, who’s working for the Republican nomination once more.
The November election will even characteristic Joseph Trillo, a former Republican state legislator working as an impartial.
Rhode Island’s contests on Wednesday are the second-to-last earlier than November, with New York remaining on Thursday. In New York’s Democratic state major on Thursday, activist and former “Intercourse and the Metropolis” co-star Cynthia Nixon is difficult Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Reporting by David Gaffen in New York; Enhancing by Peter Cooney and Susan Thomas