EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Dan McKee and Helena Foulkes campaigns are clashing over televised comments the incumbent governor made as he took the stage to declare victory in the Democratic primary on Tuesday.
A McKee staffer interrupted the governor while he was on stage, offering a cellphone and saying: “Helena wants to talk to you.”
McKee brushed off the staffer, declining to take the call.
“No, that’s not going to happen,” McKee said. “Eva, hang up on them.”
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A spokesperson for Foulkes said she was calling McKee to concede the race. In her concession speech, Foulkes said the governor refused to take her call.
“I did just try calling the governor, he would not accept my calls,” Foulkes said. “I’m unhappy about that.”
The McKee campaign is pinning the awkward interaction on the Foulkes team, saying they shouldn’t have called when the governor was already walking on stage.
Foulkes Spokesperson Audrey Lucas said in a social media post Foulkes was unaware the governor was on stage when they called him at 10:41 p.m.
“We believed he was going on at 11,” Lucas tweeted.
Later on, during a live interview with 12 News, McKee said he would take a call from Foulkes.
Ted Nesi contributed to this report.