Carlson brought in $913K in receipts, mostly self-funded, in quest for Congress

PROVIDENCE – A political newcomer brought in the most campaign receipts through June 30 in his quest for Congress, but a former local state representative has raised the most from the community to try to succeed David N. Cicilline in the U.S. House.

That’s according to the second-quarter campaign finance reports most of the candidates filed on July 15 with the U.S. Federal Election Commission. The latest report notes how much each candidate has raised and spent on their campaigns as of June 30. The next quarterly reports are due Oct. 15.

Don Carlson, a Democratic candidate from Jamestown who oversees the Joseph C. Tsai Leadership Program at Yale Law School and never held elective office before, reported the most of all candidates who filed their finance reports with the FEC. To date, Carlson received $913,405 in receipts as of the end of the second quarter.

However, $600,000 of that is via personal loans he made to help self-finance his campaign. Carlson also has the most cash on hand in his campaign account at $769,986, close to double what former Providence state representative and fellow Democratic candidate Aaron Regunberg has in his respective account – $396,987.

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Regarding receiving contributions from the community, Regunberg got the most through two quarters at $470,665. The receipts comprised of contributions from residents and political action committees. Gabe Amo, a Democrat and former White House staffer, also cracked the $450,000-recepit mark through two quarters, reporting $462,553 in his respective June 30 report.

Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos, considered the Democratic favorite in multiple public circles, reported $338,054 in receipts through June 30. Sen. Sandra Cano, D-Pawtucket, and former Gov. Gina M. Raimondo aide Nick Autiello brought in $264,151 and $226,584 in receipts, respectively.

Walter Berbrick, a Middletown resident and a political newcomer also, has to date $147,812 in receipts, just ahead of Providence city councilor John Goncalves at $140,167. Rep. Marvin J. Abney, D-Newport, the chair of the R.I. House Finance Committee who has not yet received enough signatures to get on the ballot, reported June 30 to have gotten $77,050 in receipts from the community, nearly $30,000 ahead of fellow Rep. Stephen M. Casey, D-Woonsocket.

Gerry W. Leonard, a Jamestown resident and a newbie to politics who received the nomination from the Rhode Island Republican Party, reported $31,937 in receipts through June 30.

On campaign spending, Amo has spent the most through two quarters at $151,059. He is one of four candidates who have spent more than $100,000 on their campaigns to date – Carlson [$143,419], Autiello [$129,419] and Matos [$123,053] are the other three.

Stephanie Beaute, a Democrat and former secretary of state candidate who has raised $6,201 for her campaign, has spent the least of all active candidates who reported their finances at $364. Leonard has spent just $629.

Democrats Michael A. Tillinghast, Gregory Mundy, Allen R. Waters, Bella Noka and Sen. Ana B. Quezada, D-Providence, have not reported their finances to the FEC.

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