How did potential 2022 candidates for governor fare?

PROVIDENCE — For one day last week, Rhode Island’s top Democrats — even those vying against each other for the big political prize next year — were one big happy family.

They gathered in the high-ceilinged State Room, with Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of George Washington looking down at them, to celebrate the signing of new laws to ban guns from schools and the “straw purchase” of firearms by middlemen for others prohibited from buying them.

The event gave three of the likely 2022 candidates for governor a turn at the microphone: the incumbent governor, Dan McKee, the state treasurer, Seth Magaziner, and the secretary of state, Nellie Gorbea.

For this moment, on this day, they were all on the same team: Democrats united behind measures they believe will reduce the potential for gun violence — a belief disputed by the one potential GOP candidate for governor so far, House Minority Leader Blake Filippi (more on his views later). 

But that did not mean the Democrats all had the same degree of luck getting their  agendas through the Democrat-controlled General Assembly.

They all had mixed luck.


Atty. Gen. Peter Neronha — who has made clear he is NOT running for governor next year — won 33% of his legislative battles with the passage of 12 of 36 bills introduced on his behalf.

One of the two gun bills signed last Monday was introduced by like-minded lawmakers for him, McKee, Gorbea and Magaziner, and the straw-purchase bill, for him alone.

The lawmakers also passed bills introduced for the attorney general to: