Dan McKee
76th Governor of Rhode Island
Assumed office
March 2, 2021
LieutenantSabina Matos
Preceded byGina Raimondo
69th Lieutenant Governor of Rhode Island
In office
January 6, 2015 – March 2, 2021
GovernorGina Raimondo
Preceded byElizabeth Roberts
Succeeded bySabina Matos
Mayor of Cumberland, Rhode Island
In office
January 7, 2007 – January 6, 2015
Preceded byDavid Iwuc
Succeeded byWilliam Murray
In office
January 2001 – January 2005
Preceded byFrank Gaschen
Succeeded byDavid Iwuc
Personal details
Born (1951-06-16) June 16, 1951 (age 70)
Cumberland, Rhode Island, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Susan McGill
Children2
EducationAssumption College (BA)
Harvard University (MPA)

Daniel J. McKee (born June 16, 1951) is an American politician serving as the 76th governor of Rhode Island since March 2021. He is a member of the Democratic Party.

McKee served as a member of the Cumberland Town Council from 1992 to 1998 and Mayor of Cumberland twice, from 2000 to 2004 and from 2006 until 2014.[1] He was elected as the lieutenant governor of Rhode Island in 2014. When Governor Gina Raimondo resigned to become President Joe Biden's Secretary of Commerce in 2021, McKee acceded to the post of Governor of Rhode Island.[2]

Early life

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

After graduating from Cumberland High School, McKee received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts and a Master of Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Early career

McKee was an officer of McKee Brothers, a heating, air conditioning, and home heating oil delivery business founded by his grandfather.[3] In addition, he ran a health and fitness business for more than 30 years.[3]

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.

He served six terms as Cumberland's mayor. McKee worked with state and federal officials in the aftermath of Cumberland's historic spring flooding to minimize the damage; and he 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 for the creation of new, regional, mayor-governed and highly autonomous public schools known as “Mayoral Academies.” In 2009 and 2010, McKee again helped organize mayors and education advocates to enact a new education funding policy.

For over twenty-five years, McKee has been a member of the board of directors of the Boys and Girls Club of Cumberland-Lincoln, serving as past president of the executive board and chairman of the endowment committee.[4]

Lieutenant Governor (2015–2021)

In 2013, McKee announced his candidacy for Rhode island lieutenant governor, defeating Secretary of State of Rhode Island Ralph Mollis and State Rep. Frank Ferri in the Democratic primary.[5] McKee faced Republican Catherine Terry Taylor, a legislative aide and speechwriter for U.S. Senators John Chafee and Lincoln Chafee.[6] McKee won with 54.3% of the vote. He was re-elected in 2018.[7]

On January 7, 2021, President-elect Joe Biden selected Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo as his choice for Secretary of Commerce. Since McKee was next in line of succession, he would become governor once Raimondo would be confirmed by the United States Senate. She was confirmed on March 2, 2021 and submitted her resignation as governor shortly after.[8]

In February 2021, McKee began to form a COVID-19 advisory board in anticipation whenever he would become Rhode Island's governor.[9] He had criticized the Raimondo administration over a slow COVID-19 vaccine rollout.[10]

Governorship (2021–present)

Governor McKee and wife Susan at the 2021 Bristol Fourth of July Parade
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 following Raimondo's appointment as U.S. commerce secretary.[11]

COVID-19

McKee said his main priority was to advance COVID-19 vaccine rollout and to contain the COVID-19 pandemic in Rhode Island.[12] By July 4, Rhode Island had fully vaccinated over 633,000 people, representing 70% of its eligible adult population.[13] It was the fifth state to reach that milestone.[13] 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.[14]

Electoral history

Cumberland Mayor Democratic Primary Election, 2000
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Daniel McKee 4,390 61.48
Democratic Francis Gaschen 2,750 38.52
Cumberland Mayor Election, 2000
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Daniel McKee 11,625 100.00
Cumberland Mayor Election, 2002
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Daniel McKee (inc.) 9,131 81.94
Independent Julian Pytka 2,012 18.06
Cumberland Mayor Democratic Primary Election, 2004
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic David Iwuc 2,666 54.98
Democratic Daniel McKee (inc.) 2,183 45.02
Cumberland Mayor Democratic Primary Election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Daniel McKee 4,411 62.33
Democratic David Iwuc (inc.) 2,666 37.67
Cumberland Mayor Election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Daniel McKee 10,612 100.00
Cumberland Mayor Democratic Primary Election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Daniel McKee (inc.) 3,871 64.4
Democratic David Iwuc 2,140 35.6
Cumberland Mayor Election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Daniel McKee (inc.) 12,650 100.0
Cumberland Mayor Election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Daniel McKee (inc.) 8,091 63.9
Independent David Iwuc 4,562 36.1
Cumberland Mayor Election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Daniel McKee (inc.) 12,667 96.6
Write-ins Write-ins 452 3.4
Rhode Island Lieutenant Governor Democratic Primary Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Daniel McKee 50,229 43.0
Democratic Ralph Mollis 42,525 36.4
Democratic Frank Ferri 23,970 20.5
Rhode Island Lieutenant Governor Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Daniel McKee 169,078 54.3
Republican Catherine Terry Taylor 105,305 33.8
Moderate William Gilbert 25,951 8.3
Libertarian Tony Jones 10,221 3.3
Write-ins Write-ins 906 0.3
Rhode Island Lieutenant Governor Democratic Primary Election, 2018
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Daniel McKee 57,632 51.1
Democratic Aaron Regunberg 55,230 48.9
Rhode Island Lieutenant Governor Election, 2018
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Daniel McKee 226,528 61.9
Republican Paul Pence 106,505 29.1
Moderate Joel Hellmann 11,332 3.1
Independent Jonathan Riccitelli 9,866 2.7
Independent Ross McCurdy 9,408 2.6
Write-ins Write-ins 2,513 0.7

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. ^ a b Edgar, Randal (August 24, 2014). "Democrats in R.I. lieutenant governor race put economy first". The Providence Journal. Providence, RI.
  4. ^ "Daniel McKee's file". @politifact. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  5. ^ "Rhode Island lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2014". Ballotpedia. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  6. ^ ChrisS. "FirstWorks Names Taylor President of Board". GoLocalProv. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  7. ^ "Lt. Gov. McKee wins re-election". WPRI.com. November 7, 2018. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  8. ^ "Biden's Commerce Secretary, Gina Raimondo, Confirmed By Senate". NPR.org. Retrieved March 3, 2021.
  9. ^ "McKee names COVID advisory board". Boston Globe. February 3, 2021.
  10. ^ "McKee criticizes Raimondo administration over vaccine rollout". WPRI. Retrieved March 3, 2021.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ "RI Lt. Gov. Says Speeding Up Vaccine Distribution Is His 'Top Priority'". NECN. Retrieved March 3, 2021.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ Anderson, Patrick (July 9, 2021). "Governor McKee extends emergency, 3 additional cases of delta variant in RI". The Providence Journal. Retrieved July 10, 2021.
Political offices Preceded byElizabeth Roberts Lieutenant Governor of Rhode Island2015–2021 Succeeded bySabina Matos Preceded byGina Raimondo Governor of Rhode Island2021–present Incumbent U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial) Preceded byKamala Harrisas Vice President Order of precedence of the United StatesWithin Rhode Island Succeeded byMayor of cityin which event is held Succeeded byOtherwise Nancy Pelosias Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Preceded byRoy Cooperas Governor of North Carolina Order of precedence of the United StatesOutside Rhode Island Succeeded byPhil Scottas Governor of Vermont