Votes Close in Race for Town Council, School Committee

Mail-in ballots will decide the final make-up of two local parties.


Both races for town council and school committee in North Kingstown are still tight as candidates await the final results. Though all 11 precincts in town have been reported, election officials still have to factor in the 1,100 or so mail-in/absentee ballots, which are expected to be counted by Wednesday morning.

(Check back later for official results once the mail-in ballots have been counted.)

According to North Kingstown Town Clerk Jeannette Alyward, vote turnout was 63 percent with about 13,000 votes cast.

Town Council

Unofficial Results Candidate Total Votes Percentage Elizabeth Dolan (R) 5477 9.6% Kerry McKay (R) 5226 9.1% Kevin Maloney (I) 4827 8.4% Richard Welch (D) 4564 8.0% Carol Hueston (R) 4504 7.9% Colin O'Sullivan (I) 4498 7.9% Michael Bestwick (D) 4127 7.2% Tracey McCue (D) 4017 7.0% Mark Hawkins (R) 3810 6.7% Rickey Thompson (I) 3669 6.4% Brent Cleaveland (R) 3576 6.2% Donald Souza, Jr. (D) 3310 5.8% Richard Lamere (I) 3248 5.7% Dorman Hayes (I) 2300 4.0% WRITE-IN 74 0.1%

Six votes separate the fifth- and sixth-place vote-getters in the race for Town Council. With only five seats on the council and 14 candidates, mail-in ballots will play a big role in who gets to sit at the council table in December. According to the Board of Elections, a mere 66 votes separate Welch (fourth place), Hueston (fifth place) and O'Sullivan (sixth place).

For Hueston, the close race isn't anything new as she lost by just one vote in a 2002 run for school committee. For now, she says she will wait and see what the mail-in ballot results bring.

As of Tuesday night's unofficial figures, Dolan is once again the top vote-getter for council with 9.6 percent of the vote and 5,477 votes cast. Behind her is fellow Republican Kerry McKay. In third is newcomer Kevin Maloney, who ran as an Independent.

"I find it hard to believe that voters voted back in several incumbents," said Welch. "I felt they should have been held accountable for some of the actions they took."

O'Sullivan, who currently sits in sixth place just six votes behind Hueston, stated he was satisfied with the results thus far.

"I came in sixth out of 14," said Sullivan. "I'll sleep very well tonight knowing that."

Whatever the makeup of the council will be once the dust settles, McKay remains confident that the five members will be able to work together. 

"These are good people who have good intentions just like me," said McKay. "We have to get everyone in the community working together."

School Committee

Unofficial Results Candidate Total Votes Percentage Cheryl Clarkin (I) 8643 29.5% Robert Jones (R) 7376 25.2% Lynda Avanzato (D) 6635 22.7% Augustine Manocchia 6500 22.2%

Things are also close at the cut-off for North Kingstown School Committee as just 135 vote separate Lynda Avanzato and Augustine Manocchia. 

Newcomer Cheryl Clarkin (an Independent endorsed by the North Kingstown Republican Town Committee) received the most votes for school committee.

"I'm excited to do this," added Clarkin. "We have a group of people now with the council and school committee who get along and have a similar vision."

nkres November 09, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Kinder hit the lottery. At least 2 more years of lawsuits, billing at $800 per hour. Mike E must be breathing easier now as well. Why was Bestwick hanging out with the Republicans as pictured in the Standard TImes?
MeanE November 09, 2012 at 03:30 PM
A few of observations. With 14 candidates on the ballot, we have a top vote getter receiving ONLY 9.6% of the votes. I believe that this is the lowest percentage of any town in RI. I am struggling to come to grips on whether having so many residents interested in becoming a TC member is a good thing, or if it just muddies the water and changes the complexion of elections. In addition, I also wonder if TC & SC representatives should be voted on via districts within NK. I understand that NK may not be as large as other communities that vote this way, but I am not sure that some areas are receiving proper representation. Where do these 5 members live? Do they have the ENTIRE town's interests in mind or could they be skewed by their economic standing and physical address within NK? Many talked about improving the North End during their campaigns, but how many actually live in the North End? IMO the local media, including the Patch, did a good job of independently reporting on the candidates prior to the elections. Unlike the National media outlwts, who always have agendas. Unfortunately, by the results of the election, I don't feel that enough people paid attention to all of the info that was out there. I am looking forward to seeing how the new faces impact the issues in NK. Just post-election thoughts.
MeanE November 09, 2012 at 03:41 PM
nkres - In terms of Bestwick hanging out with the Republicans, I am torn. On one hand, many of us always talk that we want to eliminate party politics and we want our representatives to work together. On the other hand with the party jumping politics that have gone on in recent history in NK, it's understandable that it's questionable, especially on election night. I want to believe that by working on the TC together that these folks formed an innocent friendship that allows for them to put aside their party politics, but not knowing these folks, I can only guess.
Politics Sheriff of NK November 09, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Four more years of Avanzato!
Dark star November 10, 2012 at 12:42 AM


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