Two take on Grebien for city’s top spot

Two take on Grebien for city’s top spot

PAWTUCKET – The two men running against Mayor Donald Grebien in 2016 say it’s time for the city to go in a new direction.

John Arcaro, an account executive with R&R Publishing and frequent candidate for local office, has had disputes with the mayor over various issues, including his hiring practices and support for Arcaro’s past election opponents.

Arcaro, of 66 Waltham St., told The Breeze Grebien has “handpicked way too many stooges for office” and criminals “for high-level positions.”

“This hurts the livelihood of my friends, neighbors and family,” he said. Arcaro cited as examples department heads who have been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol or attacking their wives.

Arcaro filed papers at the Board of Canvassers last week under the made-up party name “Sick of Scandals.” Gonzalo Cuervo, chief of staff in Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea’s office, initially told The Breeze last Thursday that Arcaro, who previously ran as a Democrat for state representative, would be listed as an independent on the ballot, as the state only recognizes Democrats, Republicans and Moderates. But Cuervo reversed that position a short time later, saying an independent “can, in fact, have their movement listed next to their name” by state election law.

Kevin Crawley, a local attorney who retired late last year as a detective captain in the Pawtucket Police Department, said his decision to run was a “last minute” one. While Grebien “has indeed accomplished many good things for the city,” says Crawley, “I have been frustrated by what I feel has been a lack of open and honest communication by this administration.”

Crawley, of 46 Narragansett Ave., said he’s received a good response so far from voters who share his opinion.

Like Arcaro, the independent would challenge Grebien in the general election if both return the required signatures to run.

Crawley, a cancer survivor, retired from the police department to focus on his family and health. He said he is “proud to have served such a great community” in many different police department jobs.

Grebien declined to comment on the challenge from the two.

A total of 14 people have declared intentions to run for nine seats on the Pawtucket City Council, while an unusually small field of nine people will run for seven School Committee seats.

A declaration of candidacy does not mean someone is running. Everyone who filed declaration papers during the June 27-29 period must still get signatures from qualified voters by July 15.

For the three at-large seats on the council, incumbent Democrats Thomas Hodge, of 53 Wilton Ave., Lorenzo Tetreault, of 95 Second St., and Sandra Cano, of 302 Pullen Ave., joined former Councilor Albert Vitali Jr., of 85 Pequot Road, a Democrat who lost by a narrow margin two years ago, and Rodney Barber, of 99 Riverview Ave., who previously ran for House District 62, in filing declaration papers. Cano, Hodge, Vitali and Tetreault will run as Democrats to whittle the field down to three. The winners will do it all over again against the independent Barber in the general election.

Barber initially declared for the District 4 council race against John Barry III, but switched to the at-large race by the filing deadline. Barry, along with District 3 Councilor Terry Mercer and District 2 Councilor Mark Wildenhain, will now all run unopposed.

For Council District 1, Democrat Kimberly Grant, of 189 Woodbury St., filed papers to run against Council President David Moran, a Democrat from District 1.

In District 5, Democrat Meghan Kallman, of 93 Capwell Ave., filed papers to challenge incumbent Democrat Mary Bray, of 7 Cooper St.

District 6 incumbent Democrat Timothy Rudd, of 257 West Forest Ave., declared his intention to defend his seat against Democrat challenger Robert Knych, of 10 Ballou St.

For school board, incumbents Joseph Knight, of 100 Fortin Ave., Erin Dube, of 311 Vine St., Joanne Bonollo, of 407 Grand Ave., Gerard Charbonneau, of 284 Daggett Ave., and Michael Araujo, of 328 Pawtucket Ave., all pulled papers to run again. Grant is leaving the school board to run for City Council and Katherine McQuade won’t run again. The incumbents were joined by returning candidate John Crowley, of 92 Lonsdale Ave., and newcomers Wilder Arboleda, of 197 Bucklin St., Olga Torres, of 560 Prospect St., and Elena Vasquez, of 40 Pine St.

All nine school board candidates are Democrats, meaning the seven top vote-getters in the primary will effectively win a seat.

For the city’s seats in the General Assembly, several challengers filed declarations of candidacy to run against incumbents this week.

Democrat Matthew Fecteau, of 35 Norris St., and Mark Theroux, of 100 Rice St., both filed declaration papers as Democrats to run against incumbent District 8 Sen. Jamie Doyle (see related story). Fecteau told The Breeze Wednesday he officially received permission from the U.S. Army to run an election campaign.

For the House District 60 seat, Democrat David Norton, of 602 Cottage St., signed papers to run against incumbent Rep. David Coughlin, of 9 Armistice Blvd., a Democrat who also declared his candidacy.

Former District 16 Sen. Daniel Issa will again try to unseat incumbent Elizabeth “Betty” Crowley. Crowley first beat Issa for the seat in 2008.

Two independents will challenge incumbent House District 59 Rep. Jean Philippe Barros in the general election. Andrew Maguire, of 1 Harvey St., and Lori Barden, of 29 Cherry St., both filed to run.

For House District 58, Rep. Carlos Tobon, a Democrat from 30 Bloomingdale Ave., faces a second challenge from independent Jonathan Vallecilla, of 701 Mineral Spring Ave.

For Senate District 15, incumbent Democrat Donna Nesselbush was the only one to declare her candidacy. The same was true in District 18, where Democrat William Conley Jr., of 3 Bridgham Court in East Providence, was the only one to file.

In House District 61, Democrat Rep. Raymond Johnston, of 102 Archer St., faces a challenge from independent James Obenchain, of 18 Cala Drive.

For House District 62, Rep. Mary Duffy Messier, a Democrat from 25 Olympia Ave., will run alone.