East Providence voters returned only one familiar face to the City Council in Tuesday's election with a 58 percent turnout described as "huge" by Thomas Riley, chairman of the Board of Canvassers
Assistant Mayor Thomas Rose Jr. defeated his challenger, Candace Seel, to win re-election to the Ward 3 seat.
In Ward 2, though, Mayor Bruce Rogers lost to his challenger, Helder Cunha, by 315 votes with more than a thousand absentee ballots to be tabulated.
New members on the City Council in addition to Cunha will be James Briden, a former city solicitor, who defeated a former state legislator, Edward Lynch by 375 votes to take the Ward 1 seat; Tracy Anny Capobianco, who rolled over Steven Santos for the at-large seat, and Christine Rossi in Ward 4 who ran unopposed.
The School Committee will have all new members, including Elizabeth Clupny from Ward 1, who defeated Betty DeCrescenzo; Anthony Ferreira in Ward 2, who beat incumbent Stephen Furtado; Richard Pimentel in Ward 3 who ran unopposed; Timothy Conley in Ward 4 who ran unopposed, and Joel Monteiro in the At-Large seat, who rolled over Ronald Warr Jr.
In three contested legislative races, Katherine Kazarian easily defeated David Sullivan in District 63, Gregg Amore rolled over Joseph Botelho in District 65 and Joy Hearn was returned to office in District 66.
Voters also approved all four East Providence ballot questions, including the one that will double the two-year terms of office for City Council and School Committee members. Here are the official results, released just before midnight because of a long delay in getting the Ward 2 results from Hennessey School.
East Providence Election Results
City CouncilCandidates Votes Percent Ward 1 James Briden 2,327 54 Edward Lynch 1,952 45 Ward 2 Helder Cunha 1,726 55 Bruce Rogers 1,411 45 Ward 3 Thomas Rose 1,945 56 Candace Seel 1,491 43 Ward 4 Christine Rossi 3,403 95 At Large Tracy Ann Capobianco 8,996 63 Steven Santos 5,157 36
School CommitteeCandidates Votes Percent Ward 1 Elizabeth Clupny 2,043 53 Betty DeCrescenzo 1,787 46 Ward 2 Anthony Ferreira 1,682 60 Stephen Furtado 1,084 40 Ward 3 Richard Pimentel 2,629 98 Ward 4 Timothy Conley 3,688 98
At Large Joel Monteiro 10,168 73 Ronald Warr Jr. 3,685 27
Senate District 14Candidate Votes Percent Daniel DaPonte 7,825 98
Senate District 18Candidate Votes Percent William Conley Jr. 5,449 98
Senate District 32Candidate Votes Percent David Bates 1,174 96
House District 63Candidate Votes Percent Katherine Kazarian 4,002 70 David Sullivan 1,734 30
House District 64Candidate Votes Percent Helio Melo 3,619 98
House District 65Candidate Votes Percent Gregg Amore 3,635 67 Joseph Botelho 1,746 33
House District 66Candidate Votes Percent Joy Hearn 993 45 Manfred Diel Jr. 656 30 Eugene Saveory 535 25
Ballot QuestionsApprove Reject Question 8 11,686 5,120 Question 9 11,191 5,350 Question 10 9,727 5,306 Question 11 8,882 7,263
Voter turnout was brisk throughout the day, starting right away when the polls opened.
"It's been insane since 7 am," said a poll worker at Kent Heights School who seemed quite astounded by the turnout.
There was often a 2-hour wait to vote at Kent Heights, where lines wound out the door and the small gymnasium was packed with voters most of the day.
It was steady from 7 am on at Hennessey School, as well, said a poll worker there. Voters at Hennessey had about a 1 to 1 1/2-hour wait depending on your last name.
It wasn't quite as busy at Martin Middle School, although more than 1,000 ballots were cast there by around noon and every voting booth was taken.
The Riverside Branch Library had at least a 30-minute wait with voters crowding one room.
Then there was St. Martha's Church, where no one was in line to vote just before the lunch hour and only 58 voters had cast ballots all day. Poll workers looked positively perplexed by the lack of voters there.
The polls opened at 7 am. They closed at 8 pm -- an hour earlier than in past elections.
Before everyone retired for the evening, East Providence voters also joined the rest of Rhode Island's District 1 in electing a Congressman, the rest of the state in electing a U.S. Senator and, of course, the rest of the country in electing a President of the United States.
There were seven state ballot questions on the ballot as well, including whether Twin River and Newport Grand should be turned into full-fledge casinos. East Providence approved those questions by wide margins.
Voters had to bring an ID with them to their polling places -- another new change in Rhode Island this year.
Four years ago, for the last Presidential election, the turnout in East Providence was almost 73 percent of registered voters. Two years ago, when Rhode Island elected a governor, the turnout was almost 50 percent.
Because the polls closed an hour earlier than in the past, one prospective voter could not vote because she showed up between 8 and 9 pm. Anyone in line when the polls closed at 8 pm and the doors were locked was allowed to vote.
East Providence has approximately 32,000 registered voters -- about half of them unaffiliated with a party.