Election season is officially underway, and a number of political newcomers have joined current office-holders in declaring their hopes to appear on local ballots this November.
Members of the Coventry Town Council are elected on a rotating basis, with the district 2, 3 and 5 positions up for grabs during this year’s election.
In District 2, newcomers Jennifer Ludwig and Bradford Mayer have thrown their hats into the ring to compete for the seat currently occupied by council vice president Gregory Laboissonniere, who did not declare an intent to run for reelection.
James LeBlanc will run for the District 3 seat currently occupied by town council president Kerry McGee, who has also apparently chosen not to run for reelection. And in District 5, incumbent Debra Bacon has declared her intent to run again, and Seth Kerstetter and Kimberley Shockley will also vie for the position.
The school committee, meanwhile, will have seats in districts 1 and 4 up for grabs. For District 1, Lucas Murray will compete uncontested for reelection; David Florio will also run uncontested for reelected to the District 4 seat.
Coventry voters will have some decisions to make in the Rhode Island General Assembly, as well.
In the House of Representatives, District 25 incumbent Thomas Noret, a Democrat, will run for the seat covering West Warwick and Coventry against Dorinne Albright, a Republican. And in District 28, incumbent George Nardone, a Republican, will compete against Democrat Scott Guthrie.
Running from Coventry for the Senate District 33, covering Coventry, East Greenwich and West Greenwich, Leonidas Raptakis, a Democrat and the incumbent, will run against Jose Benitez, a Republican.
The field of candidates for the opening town council and school committee positions in West Warwick is small, with only the incumbents of the wards included in this November's election declaring their candidacy by last week’s deadline.
Only the Ward 4 and Ward 5 town council and school committee seats are up for grabs in 2020.
Jason Licciardi, an Independent and the current Ward 4 councilor, and John D’Amico, a Democrat and the current councilor for Ward 5, have both declared they'll run to serve another four-year term. They’re the only two to declare their candidacy for the town council.
Declaring their intent to run for reelection to the school committee are Democrats Susan St. Amand, from Ward 4, and Ward 5 member Stephen Lawton, the current committee chair. Both will run unopposed.
The field of prospective candidates for seats in the Rhode Island General Assembly is a bit wider, with five candidates vying for the District 9 Senate seat.
Hoping to appear on the ballot for the District 9 Senate seat, covering much of West Warwick, are John Burke, Geoffrey Rousselle, Aaron Pearson and Kyle Pendola, all Democrats, and Jeffery Kozlin, a Republican.
Incumbent District 9 Sen. Adam Satchell has announced he will not seek reelection. In a post on his public Facebook page, he wrote that the decision to end his Senate career was “not one that [he] took lightly.”
“There are a number of reasons why I have come to this decision,” Satchell wrote, adding that among them are his desires to spend more time with his family and to focus more on his teaching job at West Warwick High School.
He added that it’s been “an honor and privilege to serve West Warwick and Rhode Island.”
“Leaving the Senate will not end my advocacy on the issues that I am passionate about,” he continued. “I will continue to work for the town that I love and that has given so much to me.”
Independent Jonathan Keith has also thrown his hat in the ring, declaring that he’ll run for the Senate District 27 seat, covering parts of West Warwick and Cranston.
In the House, Republican Patricia Morgan has declared her intent to run for the District 26 seat currently held by James Jackson, a Democrat. Jackson has also declared he’ll be running for reelection.
Incumbent Patricia Serpa, a Democrat, will seek reelection to the House District 27 seat, covering West Warwick, Warwick and Coventry. Democrat Nicholas Delmenico has declared his intent to run for the District 27 seat, as well.