7 candidates drop out as city races shape up
Warwick voters will recognize many familiar names and spot a few newcomers if all of those who have qualified to be listed on the ballot follow through with their intensions.
Also, at least in the case of State House and Senate races, voters will find many of the seats will go unchallenged this November.
Friday was the deadline for candidates to file the required number of registered voter signatures to be listed on the ballot. As happens, seven declared candidates: Richard Langseth, Carlo Pisaturo, Paul Cannistra, Alfred Ferruolo Jr., Armand Lusi, Lorraine Miller and Louis Costa did not return the signature forms. Langseth had filed as a Republican for Ward 6; Cannistra was running as an independent in Ward 2; Pisaturo, who served on the council eight years ago, was considering a return and Costa had taken papers out as a candidate at-large for the School Committee. Ferruolo had declared as an independent in Ward 8; Miller as an independent in Ward 2 and Lusi as a Republican in Senate District 31.
The top of the city ticket will be a repeat of the lineup of two years ago with incumbent Mayor Scott Avedisian facing a challenge from Jack Kirby. The difference this time is that Kirby is running as an independent. In 2010, he ran as a Democrat, although he failed to get the endorsement of the Democratic City Committee.
In Ward 1, Republican incumbent Steven Colantuono and Sharon Ahearn, running as a Democrat, qualified.
In Ward 2, where City Council President Bruce Place is not seeking re-election, Democrat Thomas Chadronet is running unopposed as former School Committee member Cannistra did not return his papers. Chadronet is no stranger to municipal proceedings – he is a regular at council meetings. This is his first bid for elective office.
Ward 3 voters will see a Democratic primary with Paul Machardo challenging freshman councilwoman Camille Vella-Wilkinson. The winner of that face-off will go into the general election unopposed, as no other candidates have filed in the ward.
In Ward 4, incumbent Joseph Solomon faces a challenge from Michael Penta, who is running as a Republican in his first bid for elective office.
In Ward 5, where John DelGiudice will not be seeking a fifth term on the council, Republican Danny Hall, chairman of the GOP City Committee, and Democrat Edgar Ladouceur have qualified.
In Ward 6, incumbent Donna Travis faces a contest from Republican Catharine Leach.
A three-way contest is shaping up in Ward 7 where Al Gemma and William Russo, both running as independents, are taking on incumbent Charles “C.J.” Donovan Jr. Both Gemma and Russo are familiar names to ward voters as Gemma represented constituents as a member of the council before going on to serve in the House of Representatives. A retired member of the Warwick Police Department, Russo has run for the council seat in the past.
In Ward 8, where former Councilman Joseph Gallucci aims to succeed his brother Ray, Louis Aponte Jr. is running as a Democrat. The winner of that primary will face Luelyn Jennings, who is running as a Republican.
Incumbent Steven Merolla is unchallenged in Ward 9.
There is a paucity of candidates for state offices. Going unchallenged are Rep. Joseph McNamara, Dist. 19; Rep. David Bennett, Dist 20; and Rep. Frank Ferri, Dist. 22, all Democrats, and Rep. Joseph Trillo, Dist. 24, a Republican. The only House race in the city is for District 23, where Robert Flaherty is not seeking re-election and K. Joseph Shekarchi, Democrat, and John Falkowski, Republican, have qualified.
On the Senate side, incumbent Michael McCaffrey, Dist. 29, faces a primary with Laura Pisaturo. A three-way contest is shaping up in Senate District 30, where incumbent William Walaska faces challenges from Arthur Groh, independent, and Keith Burkitt, Republican. Erin Lynch is unchallenged in District 30.
In the races for the two at-large School Committee slots, incumbent Patrick Maloney Jr. qualified, as did Karen Bachus, David Testa and Jennifer Townsend Ahearn. The two greatest vote getters in the general election will win the non-partisan posts.