RI Voters Re-Elect Gov. Raimondo, Sen. Whitehouse

Rhode Island voted Tuesday to re-elect its Democratic governor, senator and representatives.

Gov. Gina Raimondo defeated Allan Fung, the Republican nominee in the 2014 race that first elected her governor. U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse also won a third term after fending off a challenge from Republican Bob Flanders.

Raimondo, the state's first female governor, campaigned on a promise to continue the state's economic momentum. She wants to continue offering tax credits and incentives to attract companies to Rhode Island.

The Ocean State's unemployment rate recently reached its lowest point in nearly 30 years.

Raimondo told voters Fung and independent candidate Joe Trillo would take the state backward. She raised more and outspent them by a large margin.

Decision 2018: Live Election Results

Source: AP
Credit: Sam Hart/NBC

Fung, Cranston's mayor, tried to portray Raimondo as incompetent. He said he would lower the sales tax.

Raimondo says she will seek to expand job training programs she started, make larger investments in helping small businesses and expand a free college tuition program.

Whitehouse, of Newport, was first elected in 2006. He is known for being one of the leading voices in the Senate to do more to address climate change. He successfully pushed for legislation and funding to address the nationwide opioid epidemic.

Flanders, a former state Supreme Court justice from East Greenwich, criticized Whitehouse's focus on climate change. Flanders said he would be more effective in Washington.

Whitehouse says he wants to protect people's health care, get rid of anonymous "dark money" spending in political campaigns and pass a bill to charge a fee for carbon pollution, among other priorities.

Both of Rhode Island's U.S. representatives, Democrats James Langevin and David Cicilline, also held onto their seats, according to NBC News. Republican Patrick Donovan challenged Cicilline in the 1st Congressional District while Langevin beat Republican Salvatore Caiozzo in the 2nd District.

All three questions on Rhode Island's ballot passed. Question 1, approving $250 million to fund the first phase of an ambitious plan to rebuild schools, has passed. Raimondo championed it, asking voters to make a "once-in-a-generation investment to fix our schools" after years of neglect.

The money, spread over five years, will help municipalities build, renovate and modernize schools as part of a 10-year plan.

Voters will be asked to approve another $250 million in 2022.

Question 2 authorizes $70 million in bonds for higher education facilities. Question 3 adds $47.3 million for environmental, water and recreational projects.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us