By DANIEL KITTREDGE The voters of Cranston have much to decide on in this year's election. Leading the ballot locally is the contest to succeed Mayor Allan Fung, who is leaving office in January after 12 years as the city's chief executive. Republican
The voters of Cranston have much to decide on in this year’s election.
Leading the ballot locally is the contest to succeed Mayor Allan Fung, who is leaving office in January after 12 years as the city’s chief executive.
Republican Citywide Councilman Ken Hopkins, Fung’s chosen successor, has fully embraced the current mayor’s legacy and argued that he is best positioned carry on Fung’s record. Democratic candidate Maria Bucci, a former Ward 4 member of the City Council, has made change a centerpiece of her pitch to voters, arguing that she can build a more broadly inclusive administration while preserving fiscal stability.
Five of the nine seats on the City Council are being contested this year. The six-person field for the three citywide seats, all of which are open, includes Republicans Robert Ferri, Nicole Renzulli and Don Roach and Democrats Jessica Marino, Larry Warner and Dylan Zelazo.
In Ward 2, Democratic Councilwoman Aniece Germain faces a challenge from Republican Zac Sailer as she seeks a full term in the seat to which she was appointed earlier this year. In Ward 6, Republican Matthew Reilly and Democrat Paul Bucci are vying to succeed Republican Councilman Michael Favicchio, who is departing due to term limits.
Four council members are seeking reelection without opposition – Democratic Ward 1 Councilwoman Lammis Vargas, Democratic Ward 3 Councilman John Donegan, Republican Ward 4 Councilman Ed Brady and Republican Ward 5 Councilman Chris Paplauskas.
None of the seven seats on the School Committee are contested this year, and six incumbents are poised to return. In Ward 3, former committee member Domenic Fusco is set to regain the seat he lost to Paul Archetto in 2018. Archetto, who ran unsuccessfully in the Democratic citywide City Council primary this year, is leaving the committee.
In terms of General Assembly races, two Cranston contests have drawn particular attention. In House District 15, Democratic Speaker Nicholas Mattiello faces a challenge from Republican Barbara Ann Fenton-Fung, the mayor’s wife. In House District 16, Democrat Brandon Potter – who defeated incumbent Rep. Christopher Millea in the September primary – is facing Republican Maryann Lancia.
Democratic District 14 Rep. Charlene Lima and Democratic District 18 Rep. Arthur Handy are each running for reelection without opposition.
In District 17, Democrat Jacquelyn Baginski is also running without opposition to succeed Democratic Rep. Robert Jacquard, who declined to seek reelection.
In District 19, which includes parts of Cranston and Warwick, Rep. Joseph McNamara faces a challenge from independent candidate Patrick Maloney Jr. In District 20, Rep. David Bennett, a Democrat whose district includes part of Cranston, is running for a new term without opposition.
In District 41, which includes Scituate and parts of Cranston, Republican incumbent Rep. Robert Quattrocchi faces a challenge from Democrat Pamela Carosi. In District 42, which includes portions of Cranston and Johnston, Democrat Edward Cardillo Jr. and Republican Frank Ricci are vying to succeed Democratic Rep. Stephen Ucci, who is not seeking reelection.
On the Senate side, Democratic District 26 incumbent Sen. Frank Lombardi is seeking a new term against Republican challenger Anthony Fagundes Sr.
In District 27, Democratic incumbent Hanna Gallo has two challengers, Republican Pat Corellessa and independent Jonathan Keith.
In District 28, Democratic incumbent Sen. Joshua Miller faces independent Robert Schattle as he seeks a new term.
In District 31, which represents portions of Cranston and Warwick, Democrat Kendra Anderson and Republican Scott Zambarano are vying to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Erin Lynch Prata, who is seeking appointment to the Rhode Island Supreme Court.
In the state’s Second Congressional District, Democratic incumbent Rep. James Langevin faces a challenge from Republican Robert Lancia, who previously represented state House District 16.
Voters also faces a number of ballot questions, led off by the statewide question of whether to remove “Providence Plantations” from the state’s name.
Question 2 asks voters to approve a $147 million bond request for Cranston Public Schools, with the funding to support an ambitious five-year facilities improvement project.
There are a series of city bond questions as well, including $2 million for fire and public safety equipment, $1 million for public buildings, $2 million for playground and athletic fields and $10 million for streets, sidewalks and bridges.
Another local bond question, dubbed the “climate bond,” seeks $5 million for energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements at municipal buildings.
Voters will also decide four proposed amendments to the city’s charter. The first would add language aimed at curbing gerrymandering in the drawing of ward maps, while the second would expand the mayor’s veto authority.
The final two questions involve the city’s financial management. The first seeks a new minimum balance requirement for the “rainy day” fund, while the second would establish a new 3 percent annual cap for property tax levy increases.
To find a sample ballot and more information, visit www.vote.sos.ri.gov.