Venturini misses chance to run by just one signature

Venturini misses chance to run by just one signature

PAWTUCKET - Robert "Bob" Venturini, the local TV personality and past candidate for elective office, missed the cut to run again in 2014 by just one signature.

Venturini needed 50 signatures of qualified voters to run for the District 59 seat in the Rhode Island House of Representatives, but he fell short in the bid after at least a dozen of his signatures were declared invalid.

Pawtucket registrar Ken McGill came in with "60 plus" signatures on his nomination sheet, but several names were found to be ineligible after further review. McGill said most of the ineligible signatures were from people who do not live in District 59.

Venturini, who lost to state Sen. Donna Nesselbush for the Senate District 15 seat two years ago, and to Elizabeth Roberts and Robert Healey in the 2010 race for lieutenant governor, said it was "disappointing" not to qualify.

The Magill Street resident faced significant challenges in his bid to run again this year. If he'd qualified for the ballot, he would have faced the winner of a Democratic primary between John Arcaro and Jean Philippe Barros. With Venturini out, it's winner-take-all in the primary.

According to dozens of posts on his Facebook page, Venturini and his friends were trying to collect signatures to qualify for a run even though he was missing one of his two knees.

On July 16, five days after the deadline to get signatures in, he posted a picture of himself headed in for replacement knee surgery at Rhode Island Hospital. According to the post, he had been living for 64 days without a knee replacement after 25 months of suffering from a "severely infected" artificial knee.

"The opportunity to win that seat could not have come at a worse time," he told The Breeze.

Venturini posted two last-minute pleas for signatures, each with a photo of him on his public access show, "An Hour With Bob," on July 11. He had his nomination papers turned in by the deadline that afternoon.

Rules from the Office of the Secretary of State stipulate that any registered voters may sign nomination papers for a candidate as long as those voters are eligible to vote for the office for which the candidate is seeking election.

Had he not developed such a serious knee infection, said Venturini, he likely would have run again for lieutenant governor. He would have needed 500 signatures to run for that office.


Don't give up Hope; there's always the write-in ballot.