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PAWTUCKET â€” The Democratic primary resulted in upsets to two incumbent City Councilors and one School Committee member and could affect some of the privatization initiatives of incumbent Mayor Donald Grebien going forward.
In a contentious race for the District 3 Council seat, incumbent Christopher Oâ€™Neill lost to his challenger, Terrence Mercer, by a comfortable margin. Oâ€™Neill, who had been supported by Grebien in his bid for a second term and had led the charge for outsourcing the Pawtucket Fire Departmentâ€™s rescue service, earned 391 votes to Mercerâ€™s 523 votes in the unofficial tally (provisional and mail-in ballots had yet to be counted).
Celebrating with family and friends later, Mercer called his win over Oâ€™Neill, who he ran against unsuccessfully two years ago, â€śvalidation.â€ť He said it had been two years of â€śhaving my name dragged through the mud and people were able to see through that. They embraced me for who I am.â€ť He added, however, that he had â€śrespectâ€ť for a lot of what Oâ€™Neill did during his last year and a half in office.
In a three-way race for the District 6 Council seat, longtime incumbent James Chadwick lost to political newcomer Timothy Rudd by an almost two to one margin, with Rudd earning 356 votes to Chadwickâ€™s 179.
Rudd now will go on to face Republican challenger Scott Rotondo in the November 6 general election.
In District 1, longtime incumbent Councilor David Moran was returned to another term, besting his challenger, former city Planning Director Michael Cassidy by a wide margin. Unofficial results showed Moran beating Cassidy 643 to 403.
Moran, who currently served as City Council president, told the Times that he thinks he was re-elected by running a â€śgrassrootsâ€ť campaign, and â€śa clean campaignâ€ť that focused on the bread and butter issues of the district.
He added that he was proud to be returned to another term.
On the School Committee, newcomer Sandra Cano prevailed over incumbent Raymond Noonan and was the top vote-getter among the 11 School Committee candidates. All of the other six incumbent School Committee members were returned to office, with Nicole Nordquist earning 2,463 votes, Michael Araujo earning 2,359 votes, Joanne Bonollo with 2,331 votes, Raymond Spooner with 2,221 votes, Alan Tenreiro with 2,117 votes, and David Coughlin with 2,052 votes.
These seven individuals were trailed by Gerard Charbonneau with 1,937 votes, Raymond Noonan with 1,847 votes, Joseph Knight with 1,698 votes, and John Tellini with 1,516 votes.
In the state legislature, another upset appeared in the close race for House District 58 seat where newcomer Carlos Tobon showed a slim lead of 411 over longtime incumbent William San Bentoâ€™s tally of 399.
In District 59, incumbent Rep. J. Patrick Oâ€™Neill held a slight lead of 261 over his opponent, John Arcaro, who had 246 votes.
For senator in District 16, incumbent Elizabeth A. Crowley comfortably held off a challenge by former Central Falls Police Chief Joseph Moran by a margin of 221 to 75.