Helena Buonanno Foulkes, the former CVS executive who is running for governor in Rhode Island, raised more than $900,000 in the first quarter of 2022, nearly doubling of any other gubernatorial candidate. 

Yesterday was the reporting deadline for candidates to file their first quarter financial reports to the Rhode Island Board of Elections. Most gubernatorial candidates did not file their reports until shortly before midnight.

The reports from the gubernatorial candidates collectively show war chests of nearly $4 million, and spending during the first quarter of more than $1.2 million. It also shows that candidates are not only raising funds from supporters but loaning their campaigns hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Republican Ashley Kalus, who only moved to Rhode Island a year ago and registered to vote this January, has peppered television with advertisements portraying her as someone who will fight for Rhode Island. She’s funding those advertisement largely from money that her husband loaned the campaign.  Foulkes too has loaned her campaign hundreds of thousands of dollars, and in the first quarter spent well over $600,000.

The fundraising and spending are part of what Foulkes and others have suggested will be an expensive campaign. Foulke is among five Democrats vying for the party’s nomination, and Kalus one of two seeking the GOP endorsement.

It is possible that others could enter the campaign before the deadline for candidates to declare their candidacies in late June. Here’s a snapshot of the gubernatorial candidates latest financial report. The report covers the first quarter that ended March 31.

  • Helene Buonanno Foulkes, Democrat. She reported raising $909,514 from individual donors during the quarter, $1,500 from Political Action Committees, and $400,000 in loans to the campaign. She spent $637,380 during the first quarter of 2022, leaving her with an ending balance in her campaign account of $1,502,549 on March 31.
  • Gov. Dan McKee, Democrat. He reported raising $402,614 from individuals, and $25,600 from Political Action Committees. McKee spent $179,933 during the quarter, leaving him with a campaign balance at the end of March of $1,093,219.
  • Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea, Democrat. She raised $370,279 from individual donors, and $6,000 from Political Action Committees. Gorbea spent $230,778 during the quarter, leaving her with a fund balance of $895,951 on March 31.
  • Former Secretary of State Matt Brown, Democrat. He reported raising $84,045 from individual donors and $25,774 labeled as other. Brown reportedly spent $61,494, leaving him with a fund balance of $78,989 at the end of March.
  • Luis Daniel Munoz, Democrat. He reportedly raised $844 during the quarter, and spent $2,241, leaving him with a fund balance of $1,959.
  • Ashley Kalus, Republican. She reported raising $13,584 from individual donors and received a loan of $500,000 from Jeffrey Weinzweig, her husband. She spent, according to her financial report, $103,431 during the quarter, leaving her a March 31 fund balance of $410,173.

Frank Prosnitz

Frank Prosnitz brings to WhatsUpNewp several years in journalism, including 10 as editor of the Providence (RI) Business News and 14 years as a reporter and bureau manager at the Providence (RI) Journal. Prosnitz began his journalism career as a sportswriter at the Asbury Park (NJ) Press, moving to The News Tribune (Woodbridge, NJ), before joining the Providence Journal. Prosnitz hosts the Morning Show on WLBQ radio (Westerly), 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday, and It’s Your Business, also on WBLQ, Monday and Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Prosnitz has twice won Best in Business Awards from the national Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW), twice was named Media Advocate of the Year by the Small Business Administration, won an investigative reporter’s award from the New England Press Association, and newswriting award from the Rhode Island Press Association.