The campaign to re-elect Mayor Kenneth Hopkins has begun in earnest. In the first week of December, Cranstonians have begun receiving letters bearing the mayor’s signature inviting supporters …
The campaign to re-elect Mayor Kenneth Hopkins has begun in earnest. In the first week of December, Cranstonians have begun receiving letters bearing the mayor’s signature inviting supporters to a fundraiser at the Cranston Country Club, at which the mayor is expected to officially announce his candidacy.
“Let me be clear,” the letter reads. “I am seeking re-election, and I will be successful next year.”
Supporters in are asked for a donation of $150, or $500 for a VIP cocktail hour. Hopkins also asked supporters to continue a donation of up to $1,000, the per-year limit for individual donors in Rhode Island.
In the letter, Hopkins states that he intends for his campaign to focus on the city’s fiscal health, safe neighborhoods, and 21st century education, as well as his own leadership experience.
The letter took on a truculent tone, calling on supporters to fight to preserve the gains the administration claims to have made. It reads, underlined, “We must prevail to preserve Cranston as we know and love it,” and continues, “We cannot risk the progress we have made together.”
Hopkins acknowledges the “major gain” the mayor’s office would be for Rhode Island Democrats, and stresses the risk to his agenda that such a victory would pose. Cranston’s City Council currently sits at a 6-3 majority for Democrats since Councilman Robert Ferri switched party affiliation in 2022 from Republican to Democrat and Councilman Dan Wall, a Democrat, replaced former councilman Matthew Reilly, a Republican, in a special election in 2023. At time of writing, no one else has declared their candidacy for mayor..
While the letter brings the campaign to re-elect Mayor Hopkins into a new, more overt phase, his intentions were never really in question. Although he formed a committee in 2022 to explore the possibility of a run for governor of Rhode Island, he stated both in public and in private that he intended to keep his seat in the mayor’s office.
Hopkins may not run unopposed in the Republican primary. Rumors abound that that Rep. Barbara Ann Fenton Fung, wife of former mayor Allan Fung, is considering a bid for mayor. Hopkins ran in 2020 with the endorsement of Mayor Fung, though the relationship between Hopkins and the Fungs seems to have soured in recent years.
In an interview, Fenton Fung neither confirmed nor denied her candidacy, but cited the accuracy of a Boston Globe article by Dan McGowan published in November in which she is quoted as saying “My husband and I really miss fixing Cranston. What’s going on now – it’s hard to watch.”
Recipients of the letter received in the same envelope RSVP cards to mail back to Friends of Kenneth J. Hopkins with their donations. On the cards, the fundraiser was erroneously cited as taking place at Twin Oaks restaurant. A representative from the mayor’s office confirmed that the event will be taking place at Cranston Country Club, as stated in the letter, and that new letters with the correct information will be sent ou
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