Save the Children arm backs Raimondo in upcoming primary with ads

PROVIDENCE — The political arm of aid agency Save the Children is jumping into Rhode Island’s Democratic primary for governor with television, online and mail advertisements to help reelect Gov. Gina Raimondo.

In what will be its first involvement in any state’s gubernatorial race this year, the Save the Children Action Network told The Providence Journal on Tuesday that it plans to spend “more than $300,000” to back Raimondo in her primary campaign against former secretary of state Matt Brown and former state representative Spencer Dickinson. The group said it will likely spend even more to help Raimondo in the general election if she wins the Democratic nomination.

“We are proud to support Gina Raimondo, a proven champion for kids in the Ocean State,” Kris Perry, president of Save the Children Action Network, said in an endorsement announcement slated to be released Wednesday. “Gina is the candidate who will do the most to make sure all Rhode Island kids get a strong start in life.”

Why has the organization singled out Raimondo for help?

“Today, thanks to Gina, full-day kindergarten is universal,” a narrator says in the new Save the Children Action Network television ad slated to begin airing Wednesday. “We’ve more than tripled the number of Rhode Island children in public pre-schools and made record investments in child care so families can get ahead.”

Asked what investment in particular the group was happy about, Save the Children Action Network spokesman Brendan Daly pointed to the state budget lawmakers passed and Raimondo signed in 2016 that raised funding in the Child Care Assistance Program, which provides direct subsidies to families for child care, by $8.4 million.

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