SOUTH KINGSTOWN – During a three day window to officially declare their candidacy for local and state-wide office last week, dozens of residents stepped up to throw their hats in the ring.
At the local level, only three of the current town councilors are seeking re-election. Town Council President Abel Collins, councilwoman Deb Kelso and councilman Rory McEntee all hope to regain their seats come November.
Town Council Vice President Bryant Da Cruz, who was the lone new-comer when first elected to the office in 2016, and councilman Joe Viele, who has held his seat on the council for the past six years, will not be running.
Joining the three incumbents on the Democratic ticket are community members Deborah D. Bergner, Edward Myszak III and Jess L. Rose.
Five other community members — Dorald Beasley, David N. Laudati, Alex M. Petrucci, Ciro M. Scotti and Charles G. Sweet — will be running as Independents. James L. Lathrop is also joining the race as the lone Republican candidate.
As for the open seats on the school committee, Chair Stephanie Canter, Michelle Brousseau and Jacy A. Northup all hope to return for another term. Nine other hopefuls are vying for a spot on the school committee, including four Democrats and five Independents.
In addition to Canter and Brousseau, rounding out the Democratic ticket for school committee are community members Melissa A. Boyd, Christie L. Fish, Cadence L. Hansen and Paula J. Whitford. The rest of the candidate pool includes Independents Paula L. Bradley, Jason M. Colvin, Karen A. Humes, Valerie Speredelozzi and former South Kingstown Superintendent Robert A. Hicks.
There are also several South Kingstown residents running for seats in the Rhode Island General Assembly.
Incumbent Sen. V. Susan Sosnowski (D – Dist. 37, New Shoreham, South Kingstown) is being challenged by fellow South Kingstown residents Maggie A. Kain (D) and David A. Tracey (R).
Incumbent Rep. Kathleen A. Fogarty (D – Dist. 35, South Kingstown) is also being challenged for her seat on Smith Hill, facing off against a former representative of the district, Spencer E. Dickinson and Independent Shane M. Sullivan.
Incumbent Rep. Teresa A. Tanzi (D – Dist. 34, Narragansett, South Kingstown) will be facing off against Narragansett residents Kimberly A. McGovern and Gina M. Giramma – both of whom are also running as Democrats.
The only South Kingstown resident running unopposed in this election is Rep. Carol Hagan McEntee (D – Dist. 33, Narragansett, South Kingstown), who, notably, during her time at the state house has helped to expand the statute of limitations for childhood victims of assault.
Rep. Blake Fillipi (R – Dist. 36, Charlestown, New Shoreham, South Kingstown, Westerly), who resides in Charlestown, is also running unopposed.
North Kingstown resident Bridget Valverde (D – Dist. 35, East Greenwich, North Kingstown, South Kingstown, Narragansett), who has only served one term in office so far, is being challenged by East Greenwich resident and Republican candidate Charles Callanan.