Wife defends Fung after 'stupid' China comment by rival Morgan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - The wife of Republican gubernatorial hopeful Allan Fung spoke out Thursday after rival candidate Patricia Morgan referenced China while taking a dig at the Asian-American mayor.

Morgan joined WPRO’s Dan Yorke on Thursday afternoon to discuss a Target 12 report that Fung paid no rent for his campaign headquarters in 2016, one of a series of campaign-finance irregularities involving him and developer Carpionato Group.

Morgan, the House minority leader, dismissed Fung’s explanations for the transactions, saying he was “spinning this so fast and digging this so deep, he’s going to be in China.”

Fung is the son of Chinese immigrants, and Morgan’s remark quickly drew attention on social media. Yorke’s producer tweeted a short time later that Morgan “said she did not intend for the comment to be an ethnic” one.

Fung’s campaign issued a statement from his wife, Barbara Ann Fenton, responding to Morgan. “Stupid comments by others speak more to their insecurities,” she said. “If you need to stoop to these, you clearly have no business running for any leadership post in Rhode Island.”

“When Allan becomes governor, he'll be the first Chinese Republican governor in the history of the United States and the first Asian-American and racial minority governor in the history of Rhode Island, and I'll be so proud of him shattering all of those glass ceilings,” she said.

Fenton went on to say that as governor, Fung would “be a role model for every single person in Rhode Island, in the way that he leads with honesty, self-realization, and complete devotion to this amazing state we all call home.”

Ted Nesi (tnesi@wpri.com) covers politics and the economy for WPRI.com. He is a weekly panelist on Newsmakers and hosts Executive Suite. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook

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