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.

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

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In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
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