2016-06-30 / Front Page

Ballot Takes Shape

By Barry Bridges

Rhode Island’s three-day candidate declaration period ended with a bevy of local hopefuls filing to run for office.

From Monday, June 27, through Wednesday, June 29, dozens of incumbents and challengers across the island filed the necessary paperwork to declare their intentions. In the next step in the process, declarants will pick up nomination papers on July 6, which must then be returned by July 15 to their local canvassing boards with the required number of signatures gathered from registered voters.

The race for the Newport School Committee may be the one to watch. With all seven seats up for grabs, 18 Newporters have declared their intention to seek a place on the committee, including all seven incumbents. According to Newport canvassing officials, if more than 14 submit qualifying signatures, the slate will have to be narrowed in September’s primary.

Six of the seven current Newport City Councilors will seek reelection to their at-large or ward seats, with Councilor Naomi Neville deciding not to seek another term. Five challengers are lining up with three incumbents for the four at-large openings, with Councilor Marco Camacho also facing competition in the First Ward.

In Middletown, six incumbents and three challengers have declared for Town Council, with Councilor Robert Kempenaar not pursuing re-election. Three are seeking a place on the ballot for the two available School Committee seats.

State legislative races also drew strong interest. Most Newport and Middletown Senate and House districts will see competitive races, with District 73’s Rep. Marvin Abney running unopposed.

The statewide primary is on Tuesday, Sept. 13, with the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

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