EAST GREENWICH — For the last 20 years, a Republican has held the District 30 House of Representatives and that trend will continue after the final votes were tallied at the state’s Board of Elections on Thursday afternoon.
Anthony Giarrusso, an East Greenwich resident who is the CEO of a jewelry company in Johnston, officially won the District 30 seat that was held by Robert A. Watson for two decades in what was an extremely close race.
Giarrusso, with 3,304 total votes from both East Greenwich and the 8.3 percent of the Town of West Greenwich that makes up District 30, narrowly defeated Democrat Mark Schwager by just 81 votes in an election that took two days after Tuesday to determine a winner.
The Republican candidate – now State Representative – admitted he didn’t think the race was going to be as close as it was, but was grateful that the final few hundred votes came out in his favor.
“It goes to show that democracy works,” Giarrusso said. “This (result) was fewer than 100 votes when it all boiled down.”
As of Tuesday evening, Giarrusso was leading the election over Schwager by just 38 votes, however the mail-in ballots and the votes from West Greenwich had yet to be tallied.
On Thursday, Schwager, who was a member of the East Greenwich Town Council and is currently on the Board of Fire Commissioners, earned more votes in East Greenwich with 3,053 to Giarrusso’s 3,010. But, the turning point of the race came from the small portion of West Greenwich that’s part of District 30, where 294 people voted for Giarrusso to just 170 for Schwager.