Allan Wai-Ket Fung (born February 25, 1970) is an American attorney and politician who has been mayor of Cranston, Rhode Island since 2009. He was the Republican nominee for Governor of Rhode Island in the 2014 election and 2018 election.
|Mayor of Cranston|
|Assumed office |
January 5, 2009
|Preceded by||Michael Napolitano|
|Born||Allan Wai-Ket Fung|
February 25, 1970
Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Barbara Ann Fenton|
|Education||Rhode Island College (BA)|
Suffolk University (JD)
Elected mayor in 2008, Fung became the first mayor of Chinese ancestry in Rhode Island. Fung was previously a state prosecutor and attorney on legislative and regulatory affairs before serving on the Cranston City Council as a citywide councilman.
He lost the gubernatorial race in Rhode Island during 2014 to Gina Raimondo by five points and again to Governor Raimondo in 2018 by a fifteen point margin.
Early and personal lifeEdit
Allan W. Fung (Cantonese: 馮偉傑), born on February 25, 1970 at Providence Lying-In Hospital (now known as Women & Infants Hospital), Fung is the eldest of Kwong Wen and Tan Ping's three children. Crown colony Chinese immigrants from British Hong Kong, his family settled in Rhode Island in 1969, and ran a small business on Cranston Street and Gansett Avenue, Cranston, RI.
Fung graduated from Classical High School in Providence, RI in 1988. He earned a B.A. from Rhode Island College in 1992. He received a Juris Doctor (J.D.) law degree from Suffolk University Law School in 1995. He received the Classical High School Distinguished Alumni Award in 2009.
Prior to his municipal leadership career, from 1999 to 2001, Fung served as a prosecutor, acting as Special Assistant, for the Rhode Island Attorney General. Fung served from 2001 to 2009 as the government relations counsel for Metropolitan Life Insurance Company MetLife. In 2003, he was elected to the Cranston, RI City Council. In 2004, Fung was honored as a Rhode Island Bar Foundation Fellow. He was also a Providence Business News 40 Under Forty honoree. Fung was chairman of the Rhode Island Governor’s Insurance Council from 2005 to 2008.
A Republican, he was elected mayor in November 2008, beating Democrat Cynthia M. Fogarty by 63% to 37%. He is the first Chinese American elected as mayor in the state. He succeeded Michael Napolitano, who defeated him for the position in the 2006 election by 79 votes. Fung was re-elected in 2010 against Richard R. Tomlins by 76% to 24% and in 2012 against only write-in opponents by 97% to 3%. Fung is a council member for the Republican National Committee's Asian Pacific American Advisory Council.
Fung won re-election to a fourth term as Cranston mayor in November 2016, by a landslide ratio of 2 to 1.
In November 2013, Fung announced his candidacy for Governor of Rhode Island in the 2014 election. He received several high-profile Republican endorsements during the campaign, including former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Almond, former Massachusetts Governor and 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney and former Massachusetts Governor William Weld. On September 9, 2014, Fung defeated Ken Block in the Republican primary, with a 55% majority. Soon thereafter, the Republican Governors Association President also endorsed him. Democrat Gina Raimondo would go on to win the three-way contest by a 4-point margin.
Allan Fung describes himself as a "'Rhode Island Republican' -- moderate, but fiscally conservative". An Eyewitness News political analyst described Fung as "a more moderate Republican". Fung says that he's a pragmatist and described himself as a centrist who promotes bipartisanship.
Fung identifies as fiscally conservative, but defended his decision to raise taxes as the mayor of Cranston. Running for Governor, he pledged to cut the sales tax rate in Rhode Island. During a primary debate, he said he supported making Rhode Island a "Right-to-work" state and noted that he switched some city employees from a public pension to private plans. During the 2018 gubernatorial campaign, Fung proposed reducing the sales tax to five percent, cutting fees, and introducing a concierge service for businesses. His proposed budget for Cranston in 2018 did not include a tax increase. Fung criticized giving health care subsidies to certain corporations calling such a plan "corporate welfare". Also in 2018, Fung did support increasing city spending by $4.4 million; in 2017 he had supported a 2.2% tax increase.
For funding education, Fung supports charter schools and wants to increase funding for technical education.
Fung described himself as pro-choice on the issue of abortion, but says he is not extreme and supports "common sense restrictions, such as his opposition to late-term abortion". He was endorsed by Rhode Island Right to Life, a pro-life group opposed to legal abortion, because they supported the restrictions proposed by Fung. As Governor, Fung said that he would consider Roe v Wade to be the law of the land and would not change that. Fung later said he no longer identified as pro-choice but said he supports a "woman's right to make medical decisions" within some limitations. In 2018, Fung had this to say about abortion: "I have always respected a woman’s right to make a medical decision, but with common sense limitations that many of us can agree upon, including a ban on the disgusting practice of late term abortions, having the option of a plan on the healthcare exchange that does not include abortion coverage, and parental notification for minors". Fung did not take a position on Rhode Island's Reproductive Health Care Act which would define access to abortion as a right in the state; Fung said he would "politely decline to comment".
In 2014, the National Rifle Association (NRA) gave Fung a 93% score based on his agreement with their positions. He was endorsed by the NRA for Governor. In 2018, he opposed Rhode Island's "red flag" gun control executive order signed by the Governor because it did not require input from mental health professionals. The NRA was one of his top donors in 2014.
In 2017, Fung opposed President Donald Trump's travel ban. He supports DACA and asked Cranston's city council to approve a resolution supporting his stance in favor of DACA. He supported Marco Rubio's proposal for comprehensive immigration reform. The Gang of Eight bill would have enhanced border security and given a pathway to legal status and citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Fung opposes issuing drivers' licenses to undocumented immigrants. He also opposes sanctuary cities.
- Cowart, Jen (21 November 2013). "Family Fundamental to Fung's career". Cranston Herald. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
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- Puna, Alisha (18 May 2017). "Cranston's first family: Mayor Fung and wife Barbara Ann Fenton keep competitive edge to family fun". The Providence Journal. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
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- "For third year, Cranston makes list of '50 Best Cities'". Retrieved 12 September 2018.
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- "2014 Statewide Primary". RI.gov. State of Rhode Island Board of Elections. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
- "Fung, Republicans see opening in governor's race - The Boston Globe". Retrieved 12 September 2018.
- "In Johnston, Christie touts Fung's odds in race for governor". Retrieved 12 September 2018.
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- "NEWS: Allan Fung announces plan to cut sales tax rate". WPRO. 2014-10-15. Retrieved 2018-07-06.
- MacKay, Scott. "Fung, Block butt heads in televised GOP debate". Retrieved 2018-07-06.
- Donnis, Ian. "Fung Proposes Cutting Sales Tax, Lowering Fees & Adding Concierge For Business". Retrieved 2018-07-06.
- "Taxes stay flat; spending up $4.4M". Cranston Herald. Retrieved 2018-07-06.
- Gregg, Katherine. "Fung slams Raimondo over 'corporate welfare deals,' but won't say what he'd do". providencejournal.com. Retrieved 2018-08-10.
- Parker, Paul Edward. "Cranston Mayor Fung's spending plan calls for $4.4M hike". providencejournal.com. Retrieved 2018-08-10.
- "Fung opens up about upcoming campaign for Governor". Cranston Herald. Retrieved 2018-07-28.
- Gregg, Katherine. "As abortion becomes issue in campaign for governor, Fung explains his stance". providencejournal.com. Retrieved 2018-07-06.
- "Fung's Pro-Life Endorsement | The Current-Anchor". oceanstatecurrent.com. Retrieved 2018-07-06.
- "Gina Raimondo and Allan Fung Spar Over Abortion Rights Politics". Retrieved 2018-07-06.
- Re, Gregg (2018-09-12). "Bernie Sanders-inspired challenger routed in Rhode Island gubernatorial race; pro-Trump candidate gets GOP nod". Fox News. Retrieved 2018-09-17.
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- Gregg, Katherine. "Women's groups push back at Mattiello on abortion". providencejournal.com. Retrieved 2018-07-06.
- "Raimondo, Fung trade barbs on abortion protections". WPRO. 2018-07-09. Retrieved 2018-07-28.
- Dunn, Christine. "Where they stand: the candidates on the Reproductive Health Care Act". providencejournal.com. Retrieved 2018-07-28.
- "Local mayors come out in favor of gay marriage". Retrieved 2018-07-06.
- "Allan Fung's Ratings and Endorsements". votesmart.org.
- "National Rifle Association Endorses Allan Fung for Governor". Retrieved 2018-07-07.
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- Gregg, Katherine. "Cranston Republican Mayor Allan Fung assails Trump immigration order". providencejournal.com. Retrieved 2018-07-06.
- MacKay, Scott. "Scott MacKay Commentary: Of Raimondo, Immigrants And Road Signs". Retrieved 2018-07-06.
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- Smilowitz, Elliot (2016-02-06). "Rubio defends Gang of Eight immigration bill". TheHill. Retrieved 2018-07-29.
- Anderson, Patrick. "Gubernatorial candidate Fung: 'We will not be a sanctuary state'". providencejournal.com. Retrieved 2018-08-10.