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PAWTUCKET â In addition to the District 6 City Council race, Pawtucket voters heading to the polls today will decide two state Senate races, District 8 and District 15.
In District 8, incumbent Democrat James âJamieâ E. Doyle II is facing a challenge from independent candidate Beth Croll.
Croll, 55, of 16 Tashmoo Way, ran unsuccessfully as a Republican candidate against Doyle in the 2010 election. She describes herself as a moderate and an independent, saying that she had been a Democrat in her younger years as a voter but later embraced the Republican party for its calls to reign in spending.
Originally from out of state, Croll has lived in Pawtucket for over 20 years, where she raised her now college-age daughter. She holds a bachelor's degree and has formed and run several companies, including Career Systems, a professional job placement firm, and Ctech, a computer software and consulting firm, which she later sold. Currently, she is owner and executive director of DSI, an executive search, human resource consulting and corporate strategy firm based in Providence.
Croll has served on numerous boards and associations, including the YWCA, Caritas House, Insight Radio, the Rhode Island School Superintendents Association and the New England Association of Personnel Services.
Croll said it is a desire to improve the local business climate, and to lend her own skills and experience as a business owner, that fueled her desire to run again for Senate. She said she would like to see more tax incentives offered to lure businesses to the local area, and would make jobs creation a high priority.
Croll is also critical of Doyle's attendance and voting record in the Senate, where she said he has missed over 200 votes during the past season alone. She maintains that the residents of District 8 are not being adequately served, and said she would be much more diligent about attending the legislative sessions.
Doyle, 40, of 8 Massoit Ave., is a lifelong Pawtucket resident and the son of former Mayor James E. Doyle. He is married with two young children. A graduate of Providence College, he is president and CEO of Doyle Respiratory, a medical and oxygen equipment supply company.
Read more in our print edition.