Amo has financial advantage over Leonard heading into special election

PROVIDENCE – Of the two remaining candidates seeking the 1st Congressional District seat in the U.S. House, Democrat Gabe Amo holds the advantage in every financial category.

According to their respective finance reports filed with the U.S. Federal Elections Commission on Oct. 13, Amo – a former White House aide – has brought in $885,223 to date. That is almost four and a half times what his Republican counterpart, Gerry W. Leonard Jr., has raised as of Sept. 30 – $191,757.

Amo’s fundraising rose sharply between the most recent filing periods. During the pre-primary period of July 1 through Aug. 16, Amo raised $141,854. Then, from Aug. 17 through Sept. 30, Amo brought in $280,816 for his campaign.

Leonard, meanwhile, saw his receipts decrease between the two recent filing periods. Leonard brought in $90,284 from July 1 through Aug. 16. From Aug. 17 through Sept. 30, Leonard raised $69,536 for his campaign.

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GERRY W. LEONARD JR., Republican candidate for the 1st Congressional District seat in the U.S. House, has raised close to $192,000 for his campaign to date. / COURTESY GERRY W. LEONARD JR.
GERRY W. LEONARD JR., Republican candidate for the 1st Congressional District seat in the U.S. House, has raised close to $192,000 for his campaign to date. / COURTESY GERRY W. LEONARD JR.

Amo, who also battled through 11 other Democratic candidates in last month’s primarysome of them mired in various controversies – has also spent about 20 times the amount on his campaign compared with Leonard. Amo has spent $709,142 as of Sept. 30, while Leonard – the Rhode Island Republican Party’s endorsed candidate who won his respective primary last month over former Middletown Town Councilor Terri Flynn – has spent just $34,760 on his campaign to date.

Amo’s spending from Aug. 17 to Sept. 30, at $259,978, was close to what he spent the between July 1 and Aug. 16, which was $298,105. Leonard’s period-to-period spending did increase from $10,508 between July 1 and Aug. 16 to $23,621 from Aug. 17 through the end of last month.

To date, Amo has slightly more remaining in his campaign account, $176,081, than Leonard’s $156,997.

The filings are the last quarterly reports submitted before the Nov. 7 special general election. Amo and Leonard are looking to succeed David N. Cicilline, who resigned from the U.S. House to lead the Rhode Island Foundation.

James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at Bessette@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.