McKee wins Democratic primary in Rhode Island gubernatorial race

He fended off stiff challenges from several candidates.

September 13, 2022, 11:09 PM

Rhode Island's Democratic Gov. Dan McKee is projected to win his primary, ABC News reports, fending off a slate of challengers that kept the primary close until Tuesday.

With 98% of the expected vote in, McKee had 33% of the ballots as of late Tuesday, followed by former CVS Health executive Helena Foulkes with 30%. Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea trailed in third with 26% of the vote.

McKee was appointed to his seat last year after his predecessor, Gina Raimondo, was tapped to be commerce secretary in President Joe Biden's Cabinet. McKee will now face the GOP candidate, health care executive Ashley Kalus, in the general election, though he will be the favorite in the deep blue state.

Polls had shown McKee, Foulkes and Gorbea in a tight race heading into the primary. However, with his victory, all 28 incumbent governors seeking reelection this year won their primaries -- the first time there's been a clean sweep since 2010.

During his short tenure, McKee had suffered from low approval ratings and a federal investigation into his administration's awarding of a multimillion-dollar contract to a firm connected to an ally. He denied wrongdoing.

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