PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Gov. Dan McKee won the majority of Rhode Island’s cities and towns during the Democratic primary election Tuesday, garnering robust support in both mayoral communities and his home region of Blackstone Valley.
A Target 12 analysis of preliminary results shows the Democratic nominee won a plurality of votes in 22 of the state’s 39 municipalities. McKee’s biggest victories came in his hometown of Cumberland — where he served as mayor for several years — along with Johnston and North Providence where he received political backing from local leaders.
“If you look at places like East Providence, Pawtucket, North Providence, Johnston, Woonsocket, Cumberland — those are areas that McKee had support of the mayors and notice the size of the victories in those areas,” 12 News political analyst Joe Fleming said.
McKee received political endorsements from East Providence Mayor Bob DaSilva, Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien, North Providence Mayor Charlie Lombardi and Woonsocket Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt, among others.
"The mayors definitely helped McKee out in those areas," Fleming added.
McKee earned 32.8% of the vote statewide, narrowly defeating his Democratic rival Helena Foulkes, who earned 30.1% of the primary vote, along with Gorbea (26.1%), Matt Brown (7.9%) and Luis Daniel Muñoz (3.1%), according to the preliminary results.
Foulkes, a former CVS executive running for public office for the first time, won the second most communities -- earning the most votes in 15 cities and towns -- with her biggest victory coming in Little Compton (43.8%).
And while she nearly matched McKee in some of the state's most densely populated cities, including Cranston and Warwick, most of Foulkes' victories came in smaller communities, which Fleming highlighted have fewer voters.
"They were small communities and the race was fairly close in those communities," Fleming said.
Gorbea won in Central Falls -- her biggest victory (49.7%) -- and Providence; Brown and Muñoz didn't finish first in any community.
Eli Sherman (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a Target 12 investigative reporter for 12 News. Connect with him on Twitter and on Facebook.
Jacqueline Gomersall contributed to this report.