Governor Dan McKee formally launched his re-election campaign for a full four-year term. Currently McKee is serving out the rest of then-Governor Gina Raimondo’s final term that she won in 2018.
“Over the last year, we’ve delivered strong leadership in a time of crisis, and going forward, my message to Rhode Island is simple: I’m running for re-election to grow jobs, boost wages, grow our economy, and put money back in your pockets. As we continue to lead our state through a once-in-a-century crisis, our sole focus is delivering an economic rebound for working people,” said Dan McKee. “Rhode Islanders don’t ask for much. They want the security of a good job, with a good wage. They want to know their schools are delivering for their kids. They want a safe home to live in. They want their government to have its finances in order, just like they do. That’s exactly why I’m launching my campaign for re-election: to keep us moving forward with strong leadership, good jobs for hardworking people, support for our small businesses, and a growing economy – for everyone.”
The announcement took place in East Providence at Igus, Inc. Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos and several Mayors and Town Administrators joined McKee at the event.
“Governor McKee took office not even a year ago. He stepped in and led us through a tough moment for our state, with children struggling to learn, businesses struggling to stay open, and a slow-moving vaccine roll-out. But in a short period of time, Governor McKee demonstrated strong leadership to put us on the right track and get our state moving again,” said East Providence Mayor Bob DaSilva. “That’s why I’m supporting Dan McKee for Governor in 2022 – he’s led us through challenging times, and he’s dedicated to creating jobs all across our state, he’ll work to put more money in Rhode Islanders’ paychecks and in their pockets, and he’s proven that he knows how to keep our economy moving.”
Mayors Joseph Polisena of Johnston, Lisa Baldelli-Hunt of Woonsocket and Charlie Lombardi of North Providence also signaled their support. Town Administrators Phil Gould of Lincoln and Steven Contente of Bristol endorsed McKee too.
Cranston Mayor and potential Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Hopkins appeared at the event to be alongside his fellow Mayors. Hopkins is not endorsing anyone at the moment and is considering a campaign for Governor himself.
Following the event, McKee’s campaign website became viewable. Some of the key policy plans on his platform include COVID-19 recovery, equity and justice, small businesses and education.
One of McKee’s main opponents in the Democratic primary, Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea, provided a response to his official entry in the race on Twitter. “I welcome Dan McKee into the Governor’s race, and remain confident that my candidacy offers the strongest contrast to a governorship marked by failed leadership during a pandemic, lack of action on climate change and irresponsible backroom deals” says Gorbea. “I’m proud of my 30 years of community leadership and especially proud of my seven years as Secretary of State making government work for people– I look forward to continuing my fight for Rhode Islanders as Governor, and building a strong future for our state, together.”
McKee faces a tough election ahead. The Democratic primary consists of a few candidates hoping to unseat him. His opponents include Gorbea, Former Secretary of State Matt Brown, Former CVS Executive Helena Foulkes and Dr. Luis Daniel Muñoz. A brutal primary could leave McKee vulnerable versus whomever the Republican nominee is.
If elected, McKee would be eligible for one more four-year term afterward, allowing him to be Governor until January 2031 at latest.