The Rhode Island primary election for governor offered progressives their next chance to score an upset in the 2018 midterms — but they came up short.
Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo, a pro-business fiscal reformer, won her primary challenge from former Rhode Island Secretary of State Matt Brown, who is endorsed by the party’s Bernie Sanders-inspired wing.
Polls closed at 8 pm Eastern. Live results, powered by Decision Desk, are below.
Rhode Island governor primary
Raimondo took office in 2014 promising to reform the state’s finances and fix the state’s economy — the state suffered one of the worst recessions nationwide. The unemployment rate is now way down, and Raimondo helped pass a pension overhaul that won praise for averting a crisis without raising taxes. But it didn’t go over so well with the state’s unions.
The governor, a Rhodes scholar with a Yale law degree, has been unabashedly pro-business during her administration, and that has invited some blowback from the left. Brown has called Raimondo “the most extreme corporatist Democrat in the country” and promised to reverse her pension plan while pursuing single-payer health care. But ultimately he didn’t win.
Republicans picked Cranston mayor and 2014 gubernatorial nominee Allan Fung to run against Raimondo over state Rep. Patricia Morgan and former state Sen. Giovanni Feroce. Fung ran on a platform of term limits for state lawmakers, cutting taxes, and work requirements for welfare recipients.
Election forecasters think the Rhode Island governor’s election leans toward Democrats, though early polling suggests a competitive race.