Daniel James McKee (born June 16, 1951) is an American businessman and politician serving as the 76th governor of Rhode Island since March 2021. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as Rhode Island’s 69th lieutenant governor from 2015 to 2021.

Born in Cumberland, Rhode Island, McKee received his undergraduate degree from Assumption College and his Master’s degree from Harvard Kennedy School. He served on the Cumberland town council from 1992 to 1998 and as mayor of Cumberland twice, from 2000 to 2004 and from 2006 until 2014.[1] McKee was elected lieutenant governor in 2014. When Governor Gina Raimondo resigned to become President Joe Biden‘s secretary of commerce in 2021, McKee ascended to governor.[2]

Early life

McKee’s family has owned and operated small businesses in northern Rhode Island for over 100 years. He is a practicing Roman Catholic.

After graduating from Cumberland High School, McKee received a Bachelor of Arts in education and political science from Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1973. He earned a Master of Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School in 2005.[3]

Early career

McKee was an officer of McKee Brothers, a heating, air conditioning, and home heating oil delivery business his grandfather founded.[4] He also ran a health and fitness business for more than 30 years.[4]

During his time on the Cumberland, Rhode Island Town Council (1992–1998), McKee was also a basketball coach, coaching groups of boys and girls at all levels, culminating in two State AAU Basketball Champions in 1998 and 2000.

McKee served six terms as Cumberland’s mayor. He worked with state and federal officials in the aftermath of Cumberland’s historic spring flooding to minimize the damage and steered Cumberland through Rhode Island’s unprecedented economic downturn.[citation needed]

In 2008, McKee worked with mayors across the state to pass a law allowing the creation of new, regional, mayor-governed and highly autonomous public schools known as “Mayoral Academies.” In 2009 and 2010, he again helped organize mayors and education advocates to enact a new education funding policy.

McKee has been a member of the board of directors of the Boys and Girls Club of Cumberland-Lincoln for over 25 years, serving as past president of the executive board and chair of the endowment committee.[5]

Lieutenant governor of Rhode Island

In 2013, McKee announced his candidacy for Rhode island lieutenant governor, defeating Secretary of State of Rhode Island Ralph Mollis and State Representative Frank Ferri in the Democratic primary.[6] In the general election, he defeated Republican Catherine Terry Taylor, a legislative aide and speechwriter for U.S. Senators John Chafee and Lincoln Chafee,[7] with 54.3% of the vote. He was reelected in 2018.[8]

On January 7, 2021, President-elect Joe Biden selected Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo as Secretary of Commerce. Since McKee was next in line of succession, he would become governor once Raimondo was confirmed by the United States Senate. She was confirmed on March 2, 2021, and submitted her resignation as governor shortly after.[9]

In February 2021, McKee began to form a COVID-19 advisory board.[10] He had criticized the Raimondo administration over a slow COVID-19 vaccine rollout.[11]

Governor of Rhode Island

Governor McKee and wife Susan at the 2021 Bristol Fourth of July Parade

McKee was sworn in as the 76th governor of Rhode Island on March 2, 2021.[12] On February 22, 2022, McKee announced that he was running for reelection to a full four-year term.[13] He won the September 13 Democratic primary, defeating four challengers in a close race. He faces Republican nominee Ashley Kalus in the general election.[14]

COVID-19

McKee said his main priority was to advance COVID-19 vaccine rollout and contain the COVID-19 pandemic in Rhode Island.[15] By July 4, Rhode Island had fully vaccinated over 633,000 people, representing 70% of its eligible adult population.[16] It was the fifth state to reach that milestone.[16] Also in July, McKee terminated the state mask mandate but extended the COVID-19 emergency declaration to August 6, citing the prevalence of the delta variant.[17]

McKee speaks at an event in November 2021

Electoral history

Mayor of Cumberland

2000 Cumberland mayoral election[18][19]
Primary election
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Dan McKee 4,390 61.48
DemocraticFrancis Gaschen2,75038.52
Total votes7,140 100
General election
Democratic Dan McKee 11,625 100.00
Total votes11,625 100
2002 Cumberland mayoral election[20]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Dan McKee (incumbent) 9,131 81.94
IndependentJulian Pytka2,01218.06
Total votes11,143 100
2004 Cumberland mayoral election[21]
Primary election
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic David Iwuc 2,666 54.98
DemocraticDan McKee (incumbent)2,18345.02
Total votes4,849 100
2006 Cumberland mayoral election[22][23]
Primary election
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Dan McKee 4,331 62.33
DemocraticDavid Iwuc (incumbent)2,66637.67
Total votes4,849 100
General election
Democratic Dan McKee 10,612 100.00
Total votes10,612 100
2008 Cumberland mayoral election[24][25]
Primary election
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Dan McKee (incumbent) 3,871 64.40
DemocraticDavid Iwuc2,14035.60
Total votes6,011 100
General election
Democratic Dan McKee (incumbent) 12,650 100.00
Total votes12,650 100
2010 Cumberland mayoral election[26]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Dan McKee (incumbent) 8,091 63.95
IndependentDavid Iwuc4,56236.05
Total votes12,653 100
2012 Cumberland mayoral election[27]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Dan McKee (incumbent) 12,667 96.55
Write-in4523.45
Total votes13,119 100

Lieutenant Governor

2014 Rhode Island lieutenant gubernatorial election[28][29]
Primary election
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Dan McKee 48,634 43.47
DemocraticRalph Mollis40,20835.94
DemocraticFrank Ferri23,02920.59
Total votes111,871 100
General election
Democratic Dan McKee 169,078 54.29
RepublicanCatherine Terry Taylor105,30533.81
ModerateWilliam H. Gilbert25,9518.33
LibertarianTony Jones10,2213.28
Write-in9060.29
Total votes311,461 100
2018 Rhode Island lieutenant gubernatorial election[30][31]
Primary election
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Dan McKee (incumbent) 57,983 51.09
DemocraticAaron Regunberg55,51748.91
Total votes133,500 100
General election
Democratic Dan McKee (incumbent) 226,528 61.87
RepublicanPaul Pence106,50529.09
ModerateJoel Hellmann11,3323.10
IndependentJonathan J. Riccitelli9,8662.70
IndependentRoss K. McCurdy9,4082.57
Write-in2,5130.69
Total votes366,152 100

References

  1. ^ Edgar, Randal. “Cumberland Mayor McKee announces bid for R.I. lieutenant governor”. providencejournal.com. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  2. ^ Anderson, Katherine Gregg and Patrick. “Raimondo resigns after winning Senate confirmation as U.S. commerce secretary; McKee sworn in as RI governor”. The Providence Journal. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  3. ^ “Dan McKee’s Biography”. Vote Smart. Retrieved September 26, 2022.
  4. ^ a b Edgar, Randal (August 24, 2014). “Democrats in R.I. lieutenant governor race put economy first”. The Providence Journal. Providence, RI.
  5. ^ “Daniel McKee’s file”. @politifact. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  6. ^ “Rhode Island lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2014”. Ballotpedia. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  7. ^ ChrisS. “FirstWorks Names Taylor President of Board”. GoLocalProv. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  8. ^ “Lt. Gov. McKee wins re-election”. WPRI.com. November 7, 2018. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  9. ^ Wang, Hansi Lo (March 2, 2021). “Biden’s Commerce Secretary, Gina Raimondo, Confirmed By Senate”. NPR.org. Retrieved March 3, 2021.
  10. ^ “McKee names COVID advisory board”. Boston Globe. February 3, 2021.
  11. ^ “McKee criticizes Raimondo administration over vaccine rollout”. WPRI. February 15, 2021. Retrieved March 3, 2021.
  12. ^ Gregg, Katherine; Anderson, Patrick. “Raimondo resigns after winning Senate confirmation as U.S. commerce secretary; McKee sworn in as RI governor”. The Providence Journal. Retrieved March 3, 2021.
  13. ^ “Gov. McKee launches campaign for a full term, flanked by mayors”. WPRI.com. February 22, 2022. Retrieved September 14, 2022.
  14. ^ Ulloa, Jazmine (September 14, 2022). “McKee, Rhode Island’s Appointed Governor, Wins Democratic Nomination to Run for Seat”. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 14, 2022.
  15. ^ “RI Lt. Gov. Says Speeding Up Vaccine Distribution Is His ‘Top Priority’. NECN. Retrieved March 3, 2021.
  16. ^ a b “Rhode Island reaches 70% COVID vaccination rate”. MassLive. Associated Press. July 3, 2021. Archived from the original on July 10, 2021. Retrieved July 10, 2021.
  17. ^ Anderson, Patrick (July 9, 2021). “Governor McKee extends emergency, 3 additional cases of delta variant in RI”. The Providence Journal. Retrieved July 10, 2021.
  18. ^ “State Democratic Primary”. State of Rhode Island Board of Elections. Retrieved December 7, 2021.
  19. ^ “2000 General Election”. State of Rhode Island Board of Elections. Retrieved December 7, 2021.
  20. ^ “2002 General Election”. State of Rhode Island Board of Elections. Retrieved December 7, 2021.
  21. ^ “Summary Results – Cumberland”. State of Rhode Island Board of Elections. Retrieved December 7, 2021.
  22. ^ “Summary Results – Cumberland”. State of Rhode Island Board of Elections. Retrieved December 7, 2021.
  23. ^ “Summary Results by Community: Cumberland”. State of Rhode Island Board of Elections. Retrieved December 7, 2021.
  24. ^ “2008 Statewide Primary”. State of Rhode Island Board of Elections. Retrieved December 7, 2021.
  25. ^ “2008 General Election”. State of Rhode Island Board of Elections. Retrieved December 7, 2021.
  26. ^ “2010 General Election”. State of Rhode Island Board of Elections. Retrieved December 7, 2021.
  27. ^ “2012 General Election”. State of Rhode Island Board of Elections. Retrieved December 7, 2021.
  28. ^ “RI Lt. Governor – D Primary”. Our Campaigns. Retrieved December 7, 2021.
  29. ^ “RI Lt. Governor”. Our Campaigns. Retrieved December 7, 2021.
  30. ^ “RI Lt. Governor – D Primary”. Our Campaigns. Retrieved December 7, 2021.
  31. ^ “RI Lt. Governor”. Our Campaigns. Retrieved December 7, 2021.

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by

Democratic nominee for Governor of Rhode Island
2022
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Political offices
Preceded by

Lieutenant Governor of Rhode Island
2015–2021
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Preceded by

Governor of Rhode Island
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as Vice President

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Within Rhode Island
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Mayor of city
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as Governor of North Carolina

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Outside Rhode Island
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as Governor of Vermont