There are three candidates running for the State House of Representatives Dist. 66 seat and one of them recently said he has decided not to accept campaign contributions.
“I’ve never had anybody pay me to apply for a job,” said Eugene Saveory, of Riverside, who is running as an Independent. The “job” Mr. Saveory referred to is that of a state legislature, which pays slightly more than $13,000 a year.
“I feel I’m a public servant, I’m serving the public. I figure my compensation is when I get the job, they’re going to pay me to be there.”
Mr. Saveory’s current run for the statehouse marks his third political campaign. The veteran member of the East Providence Zoning Board previously ran for that community’s city council in 2002 and 2004 and, according to campaign finance reports filed with the state Board of Elections, accepted campaign contributions in both instances.
“We move, we grow,” said Mr. Saveory of the shift to his current stance. He added that he was previously a member of the East Providence Democratic City Committee, though he is no longer affiliated with that group. Mr. Saveory said even if he did accept donations, it wouldn’t affect his potential votes.
“That’s what I feel, that’s what I believe right now. This position I’m seeking right now, I don’t need donations for it.”
Mr. Saveory said he is running a “very low budget” campaign, with 25 campaign signs and postcards he is funding from his own pocket. Mr. Saveory also said he has been offered donations, which he has turned down.
Democratic incumbent Joy Hearn, meanwhile, doesn’t feel the same way about campaign contributions. Rep. Hearn said she has always run a “bare bones” campaign but believes donations reflect support, belief and encouragement for a candidate.
Rep. Hearn also said she makes it clear a donation will not affect her stance on a given issue.
Republican candidate Manfred Diel said he accepts contributions from individuals and groups. Mr. Diel also said his campaign is based on “honor, courage and commitment” and there is “no chance” supporters should expect donations to influence potential votes.
“I don’t see a problem with it … It takes money to run for office.” Mr. Diel said.