Voters take to the polls

EAST GREENWICH–Although there were no local candidates whose political fate was decided in the Primary Election on Tuesday, hundreds of voters turned out to cast their ballots–though mail in votes are still being counted.

In the race for Senate District 35 (East Greenwich, North Kingstown, Narragansett, South Kingstown) Incumbent Bridget Valverde will face Charles Callanan for the seat in November. Valverde, a Democrat, has served the district for the last two years and received a majority of the votes in the Primary Tuesday night–768 opposed to Callanan’s 291 statewide.

“It’s wonderful to see so many people prioritizing voting and making their voice heard any chance they get,” said Valverde Wednesday morning. “By choosing to vote early in person at Town Hall, voting by mail or coming out to the polls on Election Day, everyone was able to participate in a way that was convenient and comfortable for them and that’s so important for a vibrant democracy.” 

When broken up by municipality, Valverde received 283 votes in East Greenwich, 279 in Narragansett, 151 in North Kingstown and 55 in South Kingstown. Callanan, a Republican, received 8 votes in South Kingstown, 120 in Narragansett, 53 in North Kingstown and 110 in East Greenwich.

“I’m happy a lot of people came out to vote, which is great,” said Callanan Wednesday. “Primary time is over now it’s time for the real work.”

As for the race for House District 30 (East Greenwich, West Greenwich) Incumbent Justine Caldwell, a Democrat, held a significant lead over former Representative Anthony Giarrusso, a Republican. Caldwell and Giarrusso were not contested in the Primary, but will face each other in the November General Election.

Caldwell who has held the seat for the last two years, took in 323 votes statewide, and Giarrusso, who held the seat prior to Caldwell’s election in 2018, came in with 151. When broken up by the two towns included in the district, Caldwell received 18 votes in West Greenwich and 305 votes in East Greenwich, while Giarrusso received 21 votes in West Greenwich and 130 votes in East Greenwich. 

“I still remember the first time I knocked on a door and someone said they’d vote for me, and I still feel that grateful every time a voter rewards me with their support,” said Caldwell on Wednesday. “For the past nearly four years, I’ve told the people of our district that I’d bring our community’s values to the Statehouse. I think yesterday’s election results show that I’ve done that.”

Although the preliminary results are currently in Caldwell’s favor, Giarrusso said he was surprised that more voters didn’t consider Caldwell’s voting record at the Statehouse when casting their ballots.  

“A lot of people think that the state is broken because the speaker has so much power,” said Giarrusso Wednesday. “When you’re [Caldwell’s] voting record is 93 percent with the speaker and people are saying the speaker is the problem, that’s a problem too.”

As of Wednesday afternoon mail-in ballots were still being counted and results of the Primary Election were not yet considered official. According to the Board of Elections, all mail-in ballots are expected to be counted by Sept. 10. 

Valverde and Callanan and Caldwell and Giarrusso will face off during the General Election on Nov. 3. 

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