By DANIEL KITTREDGE Ed Brady, who had represented Ward 4 on the City Council since mid-2018 and was in his first term as the council's vice president, has resigned from his seat. "Today, I am stepping down from the Cranston City Council, as my family
Ed Brady, who had represented Ward 4 on the City Council since mid-2018 and was in his first term as the council’s vice president, has resigned from his seat.
“Today, I am stepping down from the Cranston City Council, as my family embarks on an exciting new chapter,” Brady wrote in an Aug. 25 Facebook post. “We look forward to continuing to serve the Cranston community by working with some amazing local non-profits that are dear to our hearts, while also pursuing some passionate and purposeful opportunities throughout the great state of Rhode Island.”
Reached Aug. 26, Brady said he will “hopefully [have] some exciting stuff to announce in the coming weeks,” although he declined to elaborate further.
“At this time, there’s too many moving parts,” he said.
Brady is part of the restaurant ownership group behind the Thirsty Beaver and other establishments in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
A Republican, Brady, 37, was appointed to the Ward 4 seat in June 2018 following the resignation of Trent Colford. He then won full terms in the 2018 and 2020 elections.
In January, with the GOP holding a 5-4 majority on the newly elected council, Brady became the body’s vice president.
“I love the city of Cranston. I love the people I work with … all of my colleagues, both Democrat and Republican,” he said when reached last week, adding: “I look forward to maintaining friendships with them.”
Under the terms of the city’s charter, Brady’s resignation will not trigger a special election, since it comes more than six months after the start of the current term.
Brady’s departure leaves the council with a 4-4 split between Republicans and Democrats, although the charter language will provide for the body to remain in Republican control once his successor is appointed.
The charter’s language reads that any vacancy in a two-year council or School Committee term falling after that six-month marker “shall be filled by the council or committee, respectively, for the unexpired portion of the term, provided that in the case of a council vacancy the position shall be filled with a person belonging to the same political party as the late incumbent, and if the late incumbent had been a representative of a ward, with a person residing in the same ward.”
On Monday, Council President Chris Paplauskas said he is “looking to do something sooner than later” to fill the Ward 4 seat in accordance with what is prescribed in the charter. He said to this point, a couple of prospective candidates have expressed interest.
“It’s really early in the vetting process,” he said.
Late last week, Republican Mayor Ken Hopkins told the Herald he had not spoken with any potential appointees to the Ward 4 seat.
Brady’s resignation also leaves Ward 4 temporarily without ward-specific representation on both of the city’s major elected bodies.
Vincent Turchetta, who was in his third term as the ward’s representative on the School Committee, resigned from his seat in August, citing time constraints related to his teaching position at the Community College of Rhode Island.
Following Brady’s announcement, Paplauskas and Hopkins both spoke glowingly of the departing councilman.
“Ed’s going to be missed by all his colleagues. He was an excellent representative of the fourth ward. He’s a phenomenal human overall,” the council president said, adding: “I’m excited to see what his future holds. I know his work here in the city of Cranston isn’t finished.”
“He did a great job, he’s got a big heart, and I’m sure he’s not going to go away … I hate to see him go, but I understand,” Hopkins said.
He added: “I’ve always treated him like one of my own. He’s a good guy.”
The Cranston Republican City Committee also issued a statement on social media regarding Brady’s departure.
“We would like to thank Councilman Ed Brady for the years he has dedicated to the City of Cranston as Councilman for Ward 4,” it reads. “We know this is just the beginning for Mr. Brady. His passion, drive, and kind heart has been a powerful and magnetic force on the council. We wish Councilman Brady all the best in his future endeavors.”
Resignations from the council have been a relative rarity in recent years, but Brady’s departure marks the third time the Ward 4 seat has been vacated in the last decade. The first came in 2012, when Democrat Robert Pelletier resigned from the seat following a residency controversy, leading to the appointment of Maria Bucci.
The most recent resignation from the council came in June 2020, when Paul McAuley, a Democrat representing Ward 2, stepped down following a dispute with one of the council’s legal advisers. Aniece Germain was subsequently appointed to the Ward 2 seat and has since won a full term. McAuley recently joined the administration of Mayor Ken Hopkins, serving as deputy chief of staff.
Aside from his work in the restaurant industry, Brady – a graduate of Cranston High School West and Bryant University – is involved in a number of nonprofit and community-based activities.
In a 2020 statement announcing his reelection bid, Brady pointed to his restaurant group’s work to feed first responders during the COVID-19 crisis; his work with the Cranston-based Rhode Island Dream Center to help feed the area’s homeless population; his restaurant group’s collaboration with the Friendship Foundation to provide hundreds of Mother’s Day meals to families in need; the annual toy drive held at The Thirsty Beaver’s Cranston location; and his efforts to help “raise millions of dollars for various local non-profits through his philanthropic efforts.”
Brady has also served as a board member for the Cranston West Alumni Association, a role in which he helped bring the Cranston West Alumni Auditorium project and the athletic field renovations at the school to fruition.
Brady has frequently described his approach to local government as bipartisan, and he often sought to strike a conciliatory tone during contentious council discussions.
He drew widespread attention earlier this year when he put forward his candidacy to serve as lieutenant governor under Dan McKee, who took office in early March after former governor Gina Raimondo departed to serve as President Joe Biden’s secretary of commerce. Selecting Brady would have required McKee, a Democrat who has long been gearing up for a 2022 gubernatorial bid, to cross party lines. McKee ultimately chose Sabina Matos, who at the time was president of the Providence City Council.
“Tom Brady left the Patriots last year to pursue ‘great opportunity, a great change and a great challenge.’ Similarly, another Brady has stepped out of his comfort zone for a great challenge and has thrown his hat in the ring to be Rhode Island’s next Lt. Governor,” Brady wrote on social media at the time, including the hashtag “MckeeBrady.”
The rest of Brady’s social media announcement regarding his resignation reads: “As we continue navigating through this difficult pandemic, I am grateful as a both a resident and public servant of the City of Cranston. As a community, we have propelled the City of Cranston forward through hard work, communication, kindness, and conversation, during some of the most troublesome times in American history. I am truly appreciative for the opportunity to learn and grow throughout my experience over the last four years on the Cranston City Council.
“If we learned anything throughout this pandemic, it is that time is our greatest currency and we need to continue to actively pursue our dreams, embracing each and every day, while helping and supporting others … I would like to sincerely thank my family, our friends, Mayor Ken Hopkins, and all of my former and present colleagues, for the time and energy we spent together while serving. Most importantly, I would like to thank the kind and generous people throughout the great City of Cranston for your friendship, support, and trust. Although I am leaving public office, I will remain a proud and active Cranstonian, as I truly believe Cranston is the Center of the Universe.”
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