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Wednesday, July 1, 2020

UPDATED: Who is running and who is not

Changes coming for Charlestown town government
By Will Collette

The November 3 election will bring change to the make-up of Charlestown’s town government. At minimum, there will be a number of new faces. There might even be a change in control.

Two of the Charlestown Citizens Alliance (CCA Party) town council members, Council President Virginia Lee and Julie Carroccia will not be running for re-election.

Council Vice-Chair Deb Carney, one of the founders of Charlestown Residents United (CRU) will be running as an endorsed Democrat. CCA Party members Bonnie Van Slyke and David Wilkinson are also seeking re-election.

CRU is also endorsing Democrats Scott Keeley and Jodi Frank and Republicans Grace Klinger and Stephen Stokes for Town Council.

The CCA Party will be fighting to keep its control of Charlestown
in the November 3 election
The CCA Party rounds out its slate for Town Council with Sheila Andrew, Cody Clarkin and Susan Cooper.

Jacob A. Wolfgang is also listed as having filed to qualify for the ballot to run as an independent for Town Council. I don’t know if he has a relationship with either of Charlestown’s political action committees or political parties.

The CCA Party candidates for the supposedly non-partisan Planning Commission are Gordon Foer, Walter (Peter) Mahony, Ruth Platner, and Frances Topping.

Howard T. Stephens and Patricia A. Stamps have filed papers to also run for Planning Commission under the CRU banner. 

In case you didn’t know: Charlestown is the only municipality in Rhode Island that elects its Planning Commission or Board. These are appointed positions everywhere else.

The CCA Party has also endorsed Gail (Linda) McAllister for the Chariho School Committee.

Carefully orchestrated meeting of Chariho ... - Progressive Charlestown
The CCA Party candidate for Town Moderator is none other than Ron Areglado (right→), who ran the fight against the Whalerock wind turbine project that the town had to bail him out with a $2.1 million buy-out of the land where the project was proposed. 

He will attempt to oust CRU sponsored candidate and owner of the Mini-Super Charlie Beck who is running for re-election.

All three of Charlestown’s representatives in the General Assembly – all Republican – have declared for re-election. 

They are Sen. Dennis Algiere who is based in Westerly and represents the southern half of Charlestown; Hopkinton-based Sen. Elaine Morgan who represents the northern half of Charlestown and Rep. Blake “Flip” Filippi who represents all of Charlestown and who always keeps us guessing as to where he actually lives.

Example of a South County toxic waste dump - Sen.
Elaine Morgan and Rep. Flip Filippi (photo from
Morgan's Facebook page)
Algiere and Flip are both unopposed and will go back to the General Assembly to take up their traditional roles - Algiere as Invisible Man and Flip as one of the hungriest media hounds in the state. Algiere and Flip are both the minority leaders for their small Republican cadres in the Senate and the House, respectively.

Right-wingnut Elaine Morgan faces a rematch with her 2018 Democratic opponent Jennifer Douglas.

In other South County races of interest:

Just north of Charlestown, the stupidest member of the General Assembly, Rep. Justin Price (R-Militia) faces a rare Republican primary where his opponent is Jerry Zarrella, co-chair of Donald Trump’s Rhode Island campaign (the other co-chair is the infamous Doreen Costa).

In the article about his Trump campaign gig, Zarella noted that he will have to step down as the Republican town committee chair for Block Island. The last time I checked, Block Island wasn’t anywhere near Exeter, Richmond and Hopkinton. But I guess if you’re a Republican, it doesn’t matter where you live – just ask Flip Filippi.

I don’t know why Zarrella is challenging Price – his twitter feed consists largely of re-tweets of Trump bullshit. For his part, Justin Price is a top contender for being the most radical righter wingnut in the State House – and the dumbest. Perhaps the primary will be fought to determine who is dumber or the most far-right radical.

Democrat Megan Cotter will take on the winner in November and hopefully she will flip this seat. She is backed by the RI Political Coop.

In South Kingstown, there has been a long-running factional fight within the Democratic Party and that often leads to primary battles.

This year, former state representative Spencer Dickinson will primary Rep. Kathy Fogarty. Kathy does not have a Republican opponent in the general election.

Incumbent Democratic state Rep. Teresa Tanzi faces two others in the Democratic primary: Gina Giramma and Kimberly McGovern. The primary winner wins the seat since there is no Republican running in November.

On the Senate side, South Kingstown Democrat Sen. Sue Sosnowski faces a primary challenge by Maggie Kahn who is backed by Matt Brown’s RI Political Coop. She was a Bernie Sanders supporter but other than that, I don’t know anything about here.

Here's Costa with Cranston Mayor Allen Fung. She
held her first fund-raiser in a small restaurant jammed
with 40 of her supporters - and no face masks. Good to see Doreen is
going to bring the same consistent wingnuttery to her new
campaign (Costa campaign photo)
If Sue Sosnowski wins her primary, she faces Republican David Tacey in November. I don’t know much about him either, though it was interesting to find a 2019 bill that passed the General Assembly to authorize Doreen Costa ↠ to preside over Tacey’s marriage to Tonya McCarthy.

And speaking of Republican Doreen Costa, she is seeking the open Senate District 31 seat largely in North Kingstown. 

When Costa was one of the original Tea Party state representatives, she provided endless amusement for the ditzy and/or radical things she said. Click HERE to see the Progressive Charlestown archive on Costa.

Three Democrats are competing in the primary to take on Costa: Alana DiMario, Ellen Waxman and Robert E. Craven Jr. (son of former Charlestown assistant solicitor and presently state representative Bob Craven).

Next, these candidates must collect and submit the specific number of valid signatures to qualify for the ballot. The ACLU won a court order that allows for the submission of electronic signatures but I don’t know how that is supposed to work or whether it will affect the deadline for signature collection.

Key dates:

Image may contain: one or more people and textStatewide primary for US Senator and Representative and any local office where there is an intra-party campaign) is September 8.

You must be registered to vote by August 9 with your registration showing your party choice so you can vote in that party’s primary. Applications for mail-in ballots are due by August 18. Concern about the pandemic is considered a valid reason for voting by mail.

The General Election is November 3 and, yes, this may be the most important election in this country’s history. 

You must be registered by October 4. Applications for mail-in ballots must be received by October 13.