Charlie Baker Donated $1,000 To Liberal Democrat In Tight 2014 Rhode Island Gubernatorial Election

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In 2014, Charlie Baker ran to be governor of Massachusetts as a Republican.

In that same election cycle, he backed a Democrat for governor in the neighboring state with a history of electing Republican governors in a race decided by fewer than 5 percentage points.

Baker never officially endorsed a candidate in the race, but he made a decision — with his wallet. Baker donated $1,000 to Democrat Gina Raimondo on June 29, 2013, according to data from the Rhode Island Board of Elections Campaign Finance Electronic Reporting & Tracking System.

The database shows that Charles Baker of Swampscott, employed by General Catalyst Partners, contributed. That’s the name of the company that Baker worked for between runs for governor. He started working there after he ran for governor in 2010 and lost; he stopped working there when he ran for governor in 2014, a race that he won.

Baker has never publicly explained why he donated to Raimondo.

The November 2014 general election for governor in Rhode Island ended up being close. Raimondo won the race with 40.7 percent of the vote. She edged out Republican, Allan Fung, who was mayor of Cranston at the time. Fung finished second with 36.2 percent of the vote. Additionally, Robert Healey of the Moderate Party got 21.4 percent of the vote.

With the win, Raimondo became the first Democrat elected governor in Rhode Island since 1992.

Like Baker, Fung is a registered Republican with liberal views on social issues. In his 2014 campaign, he supported legal abortion and was indifferent towards same-sex marriage.

Fung could not be reached for comment on Monday or Tuesday this week.

The donation from Baker came at a time when both Raimondo and Fung were considering runs for governor, but neither had announced yet. Fung officially announced in November 2013 while Raimondo officially announced her bid in December 2013.  

Raimondo is no longer governor of Rhode Island. She serves as the U.S. Secretary of Commerce under President Joe Biden. She resigned from her post as governor this past March.

The press office for Governor Baker could not be reached for comment on Tuesday this week.


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