Political Winds

By DANIEL A. KITTREDGE
Posted 9/28/20

Herald, library to sponsor mayoral debate The Cranston Herald and Cranston Public Library will co-sponsor a debate between the two final candidates for mayor next month. Republican Citywide Councilman Ken Hopkins and Democratic candidate Maria Bucci will

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Political Winds

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Herald, library to sponsor mayoral debate

The Cranston Herald and Cranston Public Library will co-sponsor a debate between the two final candidates for mayor next month.

Republican Citywide Councilman Ken Hopkins and Democratic candidate Maria Bucci will take part in the livestreamed event on Thursday, Oct. 8. Additional details will be forthcoming.

The format for the debate will largely follow that used during August primary election debates among the Democratic and Republican mayoral candidates. Daniel Kittredge, the Herald’s editor, will serve as the moderator.

Out of concern for the safety of the participants and the public during the pandemic, the events will not include a live audience. The debate will be streamed live via the Facebook pages of the Herald and the library.

All questions will be developed by the moderator and the Herald’s staff. Suggestions are welcome and may be sent to Kittredge at dan@rhodybeat.com.

Hopkins received fire union’s backing

Following his resounding victory in the Sept. 8 Republican mayoral primary, Citywide Councilman Ken Hopkins has received the endorsement of the union representing the city’s firefighters.

IAFF Local 1363 had endorsed Hopkins’s GOP opponent, City Council President Michael Farina, earlier this year. The city’s police union had also endorsed Farina.

In a Monday announcement announcing the local’s support for Hopkins, its president, Scott Robinson, said the councilman has a “track record of delivering, and we’re a group that measures it pretty straightforward.”

“Ken Hopkins has had the backs of public safety across the City, so we are now prepared to stand with him,” Robinson said in the statement. “Ken Hopkins is a lot like our firefighters. He’s a problem solver who cares deeply about Cranston and is committed to making our city better and safer.”

In the statement, Hopkins said he is “grateful” for Local 1363’s support.

“Cranston residents are fortunate to have first class fire and police protection,” Hopkins said. “As I travel the city our first responders and emergency personnel get terrific grades from our citizens … That’s the track record of our firefighters and as Mayor we will work together for the betterment of Cranston.”

Key election dates

The Nov. 3 general election is still more than a month away, but several key dates for voters are just around the corner.

The voter registration deadline for the election arrives Sunday, Oct. 4, followed by the Tuesday, Oct. 13, deadline to apply for a mail ballot. The secretary of state’s office has mailed applications to all Rhode Island voters.

As with the primary, voters will also have an expanded early-voting option for the general election. Early, or emergency, ballots can be cast in person at city and town halls starting Wednesday, Oct. 14.

More information can be found at the online Voter Information Center, vote.sos.ri.gov.

In terms of mail ballots, data provided from the secretary of state’s office shows 4,851 voters applied for a mail ballot in the primary election. Of those applications, 179 were rejected and 4,672 were accepted. Of the ballots that were mailed to voters, 4,164 were returned by Sept. 10.

Political Winds is a semi-regular feature focused on the 2020 election campaign. Candidates or those with political news may contact Daniel Kittredge, editor, at 732-3100, ext. 234, or dan@rhodybeat.com.

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