Block nabs high-level adviser from rival

Tony Bucci

Ken Block has a new finance director, Tony Bucci, who held the same position for Republican Gov. Don Carcieri's re-election in 2006.

Well known in Republican circles, state Rep. Joseph Trillo said Bucci is the guy every campaign wants to get.

"This is a major feather in Ken Block's hat. No matter how you look at it, getting Tony Bucci to be his finance chairman is major," said Trillo, R-Warwick

Bucci had been on Cranston Mayor Allan Fung's exploratory committee.

Fung's campaign manager said Monday that he and the mayor - who is running for governor -- would have no comment, other than to say the exploratory committee has been dissolved and members were not obligated to stick with Fung.

Bucci told NBC 10 that he thinks Block has a better chance of winning than Fung.

"I think Ken's the right person at the right time, and I think he's going to make a great governor for Rhode Island. He has the right skill sets, the business background, and all the ingredients and items needed to win the race," Bucci said.

Block said he feels that this decision will be a big plus to his campaign.

"He's a senior adviser on my campaign staff. He has tons of knowledge and experience, and it's absolutely gigantic," said Block. "I believe that you could take this as a very big sign that I'm being well received in the Republican Party."

Block received 6.5 percent of the vote in the 2010 governor's race as a Moderate Party candidate, and many Republicans blame him for John Robitaille's second-place finish.

The addition of an establishment party player like Bucci to Block's team will undoubtedly help him gain acceptance.