***This story has been updated to correct inaccurately reported data from the donation sheets pertaining to individual donors and PACs.***
While it’s still too early to examine the financial outlook of three of Warwick’s candidates for mayor, the two candidates that have submitted their most recent campaign finance filings for the period from April 1 to June 30 showcase a pretty extreme example of fiscal contrast.
Current Mayor Joseph Solomon has an ending balance of over $213,000 in his war chest (though $100,000 of that comes from a self-funded loan declared on March 31). Democratic challenger Richard Corrente, on the other hand, has a cash balance of just over $34, and is actually in the hole by nearly $39,000 thanks to outstanding loans.
Due to their date of announcing candidacy, Democratic candidates Gerald Carbone and Vincent Ferla do not have to report their first campaign filing until 28 days before the Democratic primary on Aug 15. Lone Republican challenger Sue Stenhouse does not have to file until 28 days before the general election on Oct. 9.
Solomon, as of now the runaway favorite in terms of political capital raised, amassed $84,865 in the filing period from individual donations and $5,250 from political action committees (PACs). Prior to this period, he had just shy of $33,000 in funds (plus the $100,000 self-funded loan). Between individual donors and PACs, Solomon raised over $90,000 between April 1 and June 30.
Large donors, city workers bolster Solomon
The majority of Solomon’s collection from individual donations (55 percent, amounting to $49,825) came from large donations of $500 or more. There were 76 such donations, which came from a variety of donors such as retired individuals and owners/employees of local businesses like Dave’s Marketplace, Rhode Island Imaging and Centerville Builders, Inc.
There were also more than a dozen members from various law offices who ponied up large donations, as well as Senate Majority Leader Michael McCaffrey ($500) and Rep. Joseph McNamara ($200). Thirteen members of Solomon’s family donated a total of $6,975, which amounts to 8 percent of the total funds raised from individual donations.
Another interesting facet gleaned from the numbers showed that a total of 57 Warwick City employees, including five members of the Warwick City Council (Richard Corley, Jeremy Rix and Timothy Howe did not donate) and two Warwick Public Schools employees donated at least $25. The average donation among city workers was about $150. In total, the 57 public employees raised $8,450 (about 10 percent of total individual donations for the period).
The 13 PACs that donated to Solomon included:
Solomon fundraiser bears bountiful fruit
Mayor Solomon, shortly after taking over the reins from former mayor Scott Avedisian in the beginning of May this year, held a fundraiser on May 24 at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick to rally support and collect donations. According to the campaign filings, this shindig cost around $6,700 to pull off.
It was certainly worth every penny for Solomon, who has not been silent about his strong desire to become the next duly elected mayor of Warwick.
Of the 76 donations of $500 or more, 42 of those were listed as received on May 24 (55 percent). Of the 55 city workers and two public school employees who donated to Solomon, 42 (73 percent) of them did so during the fundraiser.