District 2 council race down from four to two

District 2 council race down from four to two

At-large candidates also get their signatures in by July 11 deadline

NORTH PROVIDENCE - Two candidates dropped out of the race for Town Council District 2 prior to last Friday's deadline for submitting signatures of eligible voters, leaving Raymond DeStefanis to face off against incumbent John Lynch in a Democratic primary. The only other contested council race is between incumbent at-large Councilor Alice Brady and challenger Shane Piche.

The winner of the District 2 seat will essentially be decided in the primary, as there are no independents or Republicans running for the seat.

DeStefanis, who said he filed papers to run for the seat in 2012 but never submitted signatures to run due to how crowded the field was, told The Breeze he's "very confident" that he can take down Lynch. He'll be running a dedicated walking campaign through the district to meet residents, he said.

DeStefanis said he's running because he's tired of the ongoing "stalemate" in town and Town Council members who continue to let political differences guide their decisions and "stop us from moving the town forward."

Though he has the support of Mayor Charles Lombardi, he'll vote based on what he believes is "best for the district and best for the town," said DeStefanis.

He said he believes in getting along and "working with everyone."

Declared Democrat Tami Leva picked up declaration papers to run against Lynch but withdrew her name shortly after. A fourth Democrat, former Town Councilor Joe Giammarco, chose not to submit signatures to qualify for a run, saying, "I came to my senses" about running after talking with his family. Giammarco said he has too many other activities going on right now and said being on the council would be a "losing battle" given all the "nonsense" that goes on.

"It's easy for me to walk away," he said. "I can't sit up there every month. I don't want to be part of that."

For the at-large council race, Brady and independent challenger Shane Piche both submitted the required number of signatures to run by last week's deadline. Brady has no challenger in the primary.

Piche says he's running against Brady in part because she has to recuse herself so often from council proceedings due to family connections.

Two other incumbents, District 3 Councilor Dino Autiello and District 1 Councilor Stephen Feola, both Democrats, face no opposition in this year's election.

Members of the town's General Assembly delegation, including Sen. Dominick Ruggerio, of Senate District 4, Rep. Arthur Corvese, of House District 55, and Rep. William O'Brien, of House District 54, are all running without opponents this year.

North Providence has staggered elections, meaning only one Town Council member and one School Committee member from each district is up for election every two years. This year the at-large candidates are also up for election on both boards.