Republican Peter Costa, Jr. spent nearly $6,000 on his campaign from the beginning of August through the start of October, eclipsing the total his opponent spent for the District 67 seat in the House of Representative by more than $1,000.
Mr. Costa, a Barrington resident in his first campaign for a Rhode Island General Assembly seat, spent $5,881 on print and online advertising from Aug. 2 to Oct. 5, but also managed to raise nearly $10,000 during the same period of time.
Rep. Jan Malik, the incumbent Democrat who lives in Warren, spent $4,783. He spent a few thousand on advertising, but also gave $100 to the Barrington Democratic Town Committee, $250 to the Bristol Warren Gridiron Club and $300 to the Providence Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. Costa emphasized the fact that most of the money he raised came from people who live in District 67 (Barrington and Warren), while most of Rep. Malik’s funds came from people and organizations outside the district.
Rep. Malik said he hasn’t been focusing on raising money right now, rather going door-to-door and speaking with constituents. Rep. Malik said he raised most of his money this year with a golf tournament in the spring. He said he prefers that type of event — and thinks most others do as well — to a fund-raising dinner.
“In my 16 years (at the Statehouse) I’ve had only four fund-raisers,” Rep. Malik said. “If that’s what he enjoys doing (raising money), he can do that. … I don’t care. It comes down to the people in November. This is not a contest to see who can raise more money.”
Mr. Costa said he’s been pleasantly surprised with his first experience in campaign fund-raising.
“As a younger candidate, the reception has been unbelievable, in my opinion,” he said. “We’ve not only out-raised them, but we’ve outspent them. And we’re knocking on every door in Barrington.
“People have written checks because they see a past that’s not right for Rhode Island. They want a change. … I wasn’t expecting to raise a lot of money, but we’ve been able to raise about $10,000.”
Rep. Malik said his opponent should be less concerned with collecting donations and more focused on accurately understanding the issues. During a recent interview, Mr. Costa said, if elected, he would do his best to free Rhode Islanders from unfair and burdensome mandates. He specifically mentioned the car tax facing residents of the Ocean State. “I talked to Hampden Road residents and they said they don’t get the car tax. That’s an example of an unfunded mandate,” he said.
Rep. Malik said his opponent is mistaken about the car tax; he said the local municipal governments decide about whether to tax residents on their vehicles, not the state. He said the state had offered a $6,000 reimbursement in the past, then reduced it to $500, but it was cities and towns who levied the tax.
“That’s not a state issue … we just set the value of your car. … Peter Costa is all wrong on the car tax,” Rep. Malik said.
Following is a breakdown of campaign donations collected by Rep. Jan Malik and his challenger, Peter Costa, Jr., from July 1 through Oct. 8:
Peter Costa, Jr.
• Himself: $90
• Sen. David Bates: $100
• Gerald Carrick: $25
• Brian Costa: $150
• John Deal: $50
• David Fletcher: $50
• Michael Genetti: $50
• Jeanne Hawkins: $600
• Colby Howard: $100
• James Hurd: $100
• William Lemoult: $100
• Ed McKinlay: $25
• Brian Newberry: $150
• Frances Perkins: $50
• Chris Ramsden: $250
• James Scanlon: $100
• Stephen Tetzner: $250
• East Bay Republicans: $230
• Future PAC: $200
• House Republican Leadership PAC: $250
• RI Republican State Committee: $750
• Warren Republican Town Committee: $250
Total donations: $3,920
• Himself: $300
• Arthur Corvese: $250
• Ann Mancini: $250
• Raymond Mancini: $250
• Coca-Cola Refreshments USA: $500
• RI House Leadership PAC: $200 and $200
• RI House Leadership PAC: $200
• RI Assisted Living PAC: $150
Total donations: $2,100