Daniel McKee won the Democratic primary for Rhode Island‘s Governor’s office on Tuesday. He will now face Ashley Kalus, a member of the Republican party, who won the GOP nomination for the state’s top office.

Kalus was projected to be a Republican favourite weeks before the polls in Rhode Island. However, her nomination was not backed by former US President Donald Trump. Kalus reportedly launched attack ads against McKee before winning the primaries.

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Unlike Kalus, Daniel McKee faced tough competition in the Rhode Island primary. The incumbent defeated top candidates like Nellie Gorbea, the Secretary of State, and CVS President Helena Foulkes.

In his campaign, McKee touted his leadership in navigating the state’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic after he was sworn in as governor in March 2021.

Foulkes said she would work to find new ways for companies to invest in Rhode Island and help existing companies find new markets. Gorbea argued the state needed better leadership on issues like housing, education and climate change.  

McKee, a Democrat, was elevated to Rhode Island’s Governor’s office in 2021. He previously served as the lieutenant governor, under the administration of Governor Gina Raimondo.

A similar trend was seen in Rhode Island’s primary race for the lieutenant governor’s office, which will most likely be retained by the Democratic incumbent Sabina Matos. She will face Republican party’s Aaron Guckian in the midterm elections.

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In the last multi-state primaries before the November general election, voters in Rhode Island were choosing nominees for statewide offices, US House, the state Legislature and local positions. New Hampshire and Delaware also held primaries on Tuesday.

With his victory, McKee avoided becoming the first governor to lose his primary since 2018, when Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer narrowly lost the Republican nomination to Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who went on to lose the general election to Democrat Laura Kelly. Like McKee, Colyer took over when the sitting governor resigned for another job.