PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Democrat Gabe Amo has now raised over $1 million in his campaign for Rhode Island’s open congressional seat, far outpacing his Republican rival Gerry Leonard, new Federal Election Commission filings show.

The reports also show Amo entered the final three weeks of the campaign with significantly more money to spend than his GOP opponent. Amo’s campaign had $284,000 in cash on hand as of Oct. 18, while Leonard’s campaign had $160,000.

Amo and Leonard are facing off in the Nov. 7 special election for the 1st Congressional District seat formerly held by David Cicilline, who resigned early to lead the Rhode Island Foundation. Amo is seen as the favorite in the heavily Democratic district, and he had a double-digit lead in a new poll out Thursday.

Yet because Amo already spent the bulk of his campaign contributions to win September’s crowded Democratic primary, the two candidates have been more evenly matched in their spending this fall. Amo spent about $70,000 during the first part of October, while Leonard spent about $60,000.

Amo received far more donations in the first weeks of this month, raking in an additional $167,000, compared with Leonard’s $23,000. Leonard bolstered his coffers with a $50,000 personal loan, bringing his own spending on his campaign to $100,000 so far.

The two 1st District candidates are scheduled to meet for their only debates next week, including Friday on WPRI 12. The secretary of state’s office reports over 8,000 voters have already cast ballots in the special election through in-person early voting and mail ballots.

Ted Nesi ( is a Target 12 investigative reporter and 12 News politics/business editor. He co-hosts Newsmakers and writes Nesi’s Notes on Saturdays. Connect with him on Threads, Twitter and Facebook.