January 29, 2023

December News Briefs

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November Election Roundup
DaSilva re-elected Mayor.  Bob Rodericks, Anna Sousa re-elected; Frank Rego, Frank Fogarty, Rick Lawson to join City Council.  Ryan Queenan ousts Charles Tsonos on School Board.  Jessica Beauchaine, Jenni Azanero, Max Brandle, Anthony Ferreira win School Board seats.  Lawson, Kazarian, Henries returned to State House. Britto, Dawson win state seats. Martin & Waddington School Bond Wins Big.   

East Providence’s first-ever Mayor, Roberto “bob” DaSilva easily won re-election over challenger John Rossi with just over 60% of the vote.  DaSilva received 9131 votes to Rossi’s 5921.  After the election the DaSilva campaign committee celebrated at a packed Santa Maria Hall on Broadway.  “I want to thank our residents for this support,” DaSilva told a large crowd of supporters.  “This is affirmation that voters like the direction our city is going in and want us to continue.  I sincerely appreciate the support,” added DaSilva.  “I will reach out to those who did not support me and see how we can meet somewhere in the middle on issues.”

Incumbent City Councilman-at-large, Bob Rodericks was re-elected over Brian Castro.  Rodericks had 7632 votes to Castro’s 5754.  “I am pleased with the strong support that I received across the city and look forward to continuing the many improvements East Providence has seen during the past four years,” said Rodericks.  Before the results were in, Castro wished Rodericks well.  “If I weren’t running, I would support you,” Castro told Rodericks.  “I’ve always thought you were a good guy,” he said.

Also re-elected was incumbent Ward Two councilor Anna Sousa who received 1771 votes to 536 votes for Dunia Teresa D. Jesus Rego Samayoa.  Samayoa was not seen much, if at all, on the campaign trail.  Sousa is finishing her 6th year on the council.

The soon to be vacated Ward One seat, due to Robert Britto successfully pursuing the District 18 State Senate seat, was won by Frank Rego in a landslide win over Edward Wencis.  Rego received over 70% of the vote with 2751 votes to 1131 for Wencis.  Rego touted his lifetime Ward One residency and family roots as helpful to his victory.  “I had a strong grass roots campaign, went door to door and utilized social media to get my message out,” said Rego.

Robert Britto will leave his Ward One council seat to join the RI Senate.  “I want to thank the voters who placed their trust in me. I look forward to working together to make East Providence and Pawtucket a safe and special place to live, work, play and raise our families,” said Britto.    

Two incumbent city councilors lost their re-election bids.  Ward Three councilor Nate Cahoon lost a close race to newcomer Frank Fogarty.  Fogarty received 1734 votes to 1584 for Cahoon.  The result was seen as an upset for Cahoon who had previously served on the School Committee and as a co-chair of the new high school building committee and he was considered a major contributor to the success of the new school.  “Thank you to the residents of Ward 3 for eight amazing years,” Cahoon said after the results were known.

“I want to thank the residents of Ward 3 for coming out and voting for me,” said Fogarty in a statement after the election.  “I promise to work hard for you.” 

In the Ward Four council race, incumbent Ricardo Mourato lost his re-election bid to newcomer Rick Lawson.  Lawson received 2285 votes to Mourato’s 1971 count.  Mourato became a critic of Mayor DaSilva during most of his council tenure.  Lawson has been chairman of the city arts commission and is a member of the waterfront commission among other civic groups. “I worked hard with face-to-face campaigning door to door.  This helped me greatly,” said Lawson.

In a post after the election, Mourato said:  Congratulations to all the candidates that won last night, including my opponent.  “Thank you, the residents of Ward 4, for the opportunity to serve you the last four years. Also, thanks to all who supported and believed in me,” he added.

The biggest upset of the local election may have been the ouster of long-time school committee member Charles Tsonos.  Tsonos lost to newcomer Ryan Queenan who received 2070 votes to Tsonos’ 1722.  “I am so appreciative of the great support within Rumford,” said Queenan, a father of three daughters.  “Let’s maintain and improve our quality of education where we can,” he added.

Other School Committee Results:
School Committee-At-Large
Anthony J. Ferreira     7477  54.8%
Miles F. Bonalewicz   6063  44.4%

School Committee Ward 1
Ryan M. Queenan       2070  53.9%
Charles S. Tsonos       1722  44.8%

School Committee Ward 2
Max D. Brandle1        1457  62.0%
Carissa C. Moglia       876    37.3%

School Committee Ward 3
Jenni Azanero             1885  57.8%
David P. Luiz              1355  41.6%

School Committee Ward 4
Jessica Beauchaine      2608  60.5%
Jessica L. Medeiros     1677   38.9%

On the state level, five term State Representative Gregg Amore opted to leave the local scene and seek statewide office as the new Secretary of State.  Democrat Amore won handily as he defeated Republican Pat Cortellessa by a 11,153 to 4,440 vote.  Amore campaigned hard across the state and was rewarded with a big win.  Amore is currently the Athletic Director for East Providence schools and a long-time teacher and coach.  He will be leaving his school post to assume the full time duties of Secretary of State.  “Thank you, Rhode Island! I am honored to be your next Secretary of State,” said Amore, the former Social Studies teacher.

Local General Assembly Races:
Senator in General Assembly District 14:
Valarie J. Lawson (DEM)       4810  59.8%
David V. O'Connell (REP)     2682  33.3%
Nicholas Ferrara (Ind)            547  6.8%

Senator in General Assembly District 18:
Robert Britto (DEM)              3165    67.4%
Anna Maria Peters (REP)       1503    32.0%

Senator in General Assembly District 32:
Pamela J. Lauria (DEM)         1572    57.1%
Rhonda Holmes (REP)           1177    42.8%

Representative in General Assembly District 63:
Katherine S. Kazarian (D)      3485  70.3%
Anthony Sionni (REP)            1457  29.4%

Representative in General Assembly District 64:
DEM Brianna E. Henries (DEM)       1808  65.1%
Ind Antonio U. de Simas (Ind)           944  34.0%

Representative in General Assembly District 65:
DEM Matthew S. Dawson (DEM)     3578  66.4%
REP John R. Peters (REP)      179933  .4%

Representative in General Assembly District 66:
DEM Jennifer Smith Boylan (DEM)  1231  56.5%
Ind Samuel R. Read (Ind)       934  42.8%

School Bond Issue:
Martin & Waddington School Bond $148,000,000
Approve  11,571 78.1%
Reject  3,238  21.9%

City Charter Commission:
Charter Commission At-Large
Bruce W. Rogers  10,975      

Charter Commission Ward 1
Manuel F. Vinhateiro, Jr.  3,191            

Charter Commission Ward 2
Julie A. Silva  1,989         

Charter Commission Ward 3
Marc E. Furtado  2703           

Charter Commission Ward 4
Michael A. Sullo  2039          
Scott S. Scienzo  1601

East Providence elected officials will be sworn in during a public inauguration ceremony on Tuesday, January 3, 2023.  The program will begin at 6 PM sharp in the East Providence High School auditorium.  A reception with refreshments will be held immediately following the ceremony in the high school student union/cafeteria.  The general public is invited to attend.

Portions of this column with contributions form Bob Rodericks

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