Lt. Gov. Dan McKee yesterday (Tuesday) announced he was running for a second term, setting up what many expect to be a highly contested primary election against a progressive and well-funded two-term Providence State Representative, Aaron Regunberg.

Aaron Regunberg

A former Cumberland mayor, McKee has become a strong small business advocate, devoting much of his time as Lieutenant Governor visiting businesses and business organizations throughout the state, and supporting pro-business legislation.

Regunberg represents the fourth district in Providence, the district that was vacated by former House Speaker Gordon Fox, who was imprisoned for bribery, fraud and filing a false tax return.

A Brown University graduate, Regunberg works as an organizer and education advocate. During the special Senate election in Newport last summer he supported eventual winner, and fellow progressive, Dawn Euer.

Also announcing for lieutenant governor this week was Republican Michael Pence of Warwick, a senior specialist in quality management systems and food safety at Toray Plastics in North Kingstown.

A graduate of Texas State University, he has also published Rhode Island Roads Magazine, an online publication, for 15 years.

In the fundraising sweepstakes Regunberg has an early and substantial lead with $213,571, according to the latest campaign finance reports, filed October 30, covering the period ending September 30.  McKee’s report showed a balance of $73,926 for the same period.

Pence filed his papers declaring his candidacy, but showed no campaign finance activity.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).