PAWTUCKET — Local voters will choose a new mayor and decide the fate of several incumbents at both the local and state levels when they head to the polls today. All polling places in Pawtucket are open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Following his solid win over Democratic opponent Henry S. Kinch Jr. in the September Primary, Donald R. Grebien appears poised to take over the mayor's seat that has been held for the past 13 years by outgoing Mayor James E. Doyle. The 42-year-old Grebien, a longtime city councilor and a former supply chain manager for American Insulated Wire, has continued to actively campaign for the mayor's role.
In the weeks following the Primary, two candidates emerged saying they intended to campaign as write-in candidates for the mayor's post: Frank Gagnon, an 18-year-old who said he plans to attend college in January, and Jason McAloon, a 22-year-old college student who also works as a real estate agent.
Locally, there are two city council races in which an incumbent is facing a challenger. In District 4, longtime City Councilor John J. Barry III, a Democrat, is squaring off against independent candidate Anthony S. Walsh; and in District 5, first-term Democratic incumbent Councilor Jean Philippe Barros is being challenged by independent candidate Christopher J. Caramela.
In District 3, Christopher O'Neill won a three-way race in the September Primary and is now unopposed in his bid for the council seat now occupied by Kinch. The rest of the incumbent Democratic city councilors are unopposed: David P. Moran in District 1, Mark J. Wildenhain in District 2, James F. Chadwick in District 6, and the three councilors at-large: Thomas E. Hodge, Lorenzo C. Tetreault and Albert J. Vitali Jr.
See ELECTION, Page A-2
For the city-wide, seven-member School Committee, the Primary determined the top seven vote-getters out of an original field of 11 candidates. Appearing on the ballot are Democratic incumbents Joanne M. Bonollo, David A. Coughlin Jr., Raymond W. Noonan, and Nicole Ann Nordquist, along with newcomer Michael Anthony Araujo and former School Committee members Raymond J. Spooner, Jr. and Alan J. Tenreiro.
Last week, incumbent School Committee member Joseph P. Knight, a Democrat, declared his intent to seek re-election to a second term as a write-in candidate.
At the state level, there is a four-way race for Representative in District 46 between Democratic candidate Jeremiah T. O'Grady, Republican candidate Matthew A. Guerra, and independent candidates Paul J. DiDomenico and C. Kevin McCarthy.
Following her loss in the Primary to O'Grady, incumbent Democrat Rep. Mary Ann Shallcross Smith has mounted a write-in campaign to retain her seat.
In District 58, incumbent state Representative William SanBento Jr., a Democrat is running against Republican Michael W. Grossi.
In District 59, incumbent Democratic state Representative J. Patrick O'Neill is facing a challenge from Republican candidate Joel M. Tirrell.
For the state Representative of District 60, incumbent Democrat Elaine A. Coderre will square off against Republican opponent Samuel J. Tassia.
In District 61, vying for the seat that will be vacated by state Rep. Peter Kilmartin, who is running for attorney general, the candidates are Democrat Raymond H. Johnston Jr. and Republican Brad Simonds.
For the state Representative in District 62, incumbent Democrat Mary Duffy Messier is being challenged by Republican Thomas L. Clupny.
For state Senate, incumbent District 8 Senator James E. Doyle II, a Democrat, is squaring off against Republican candidate Elizabeth M. Croll.
In Senate District 14, incumbent Democratic Sen. Daniel DaPonte is facing a challenge from Republican candidate David Sullivan.
In District 15, Democrat Donna M. Nesselbush is unopposed in her bid for the seat being vacated by veteran Sen. John F. McBurney III.
In the District 16 Senate race, incumbent Democrat Elizabeth A. Crowley is facing a challenge from Republican candidate Ernest J. Cabral.
In Senate District 17, incumbent Sen. Edward J. O'Neill, an independent, is facing a challenge from Democratic contender Linda Butera Noble.