Autiello ends campaign for 1st Congressional District seat

PROVIDENCE – Nick Autiello’s quest for Congress has come to an end.

The Democratic candidate who is a vice president for Boston-based financial firm State Street Corp. and director of impact for global nonprofit Investor Leadership Network, announced Wednesday morning that he is suspending his campaign for the open 1st Congressional District seat in the U.S. House. Autiello, who launched his campaign in March, said in an emailed statement he is backing out because his campaign does not have the financial resources to win the race.

According to his second-quarter campaign finance report, Autiello raised $226,584 for his campaign and spent $129,419 on it. But, his receipts are less than one-quarter of what fellow Democratic candidate Don Carlson has through two quarters – $913,405, mostly self-funded – and less than half of what former Providence state representative Aaron Regunberg has raised for his respective campaign [$470,665].

“While I wish [having limited resources] were not the case, I believe my continuing at this point would only be an act of vanity,” Autiello said. “I got into this race to make life better for Rhode Islanders. That is a mission I remain committed to today and in the future, but staying in this race would only further confuse voters in an unprecedentedly crowded field, and I cannot do that in good conscience.”

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Autiello said the major issues that compelled him to run, such as tackling economic inequality and climate change, remain with him. He said he will do everything he can to ensure “we leave the next generation a better state and a better country than my generation inherited.”

“I call on all of the remaining candidates to commit to tackling these issues and putting forward detailed positions on how they would do so as our next member of Congress,” Autiello said.

Autiello is now the third candidate in recent weeks to drop out of the race. Rep. Nathan W. Biah, D-Providence, suspended his congressional campaign in early June to run for the open 1st District R.I. Senate seat once held by the late Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin. Paul LeBon, a former Texas congressional candidate, withdrew from the race on July 10 after suffering a minor stroke.

Despite Autiello’s departure, there are still 14 candidates – 12 Democrats and a pair of Republicans – still vying for the open U.S. House seat who are eligible for the ballot.

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.