Democrats Autiello, Martone storm to victory in council races

Democrats Autiello, Martone storm to victory in council races

Dino Autiello thanks his supporters after winning the election over Francesco Martinelli, 7,188 to 2,981. Standing on right is North Providence Mayor Charles Lombardi. (Valley Breeze photos by Charles Lawrence)

NORTH PROVIDENCE – Democrats maintained their grip on town government seats Tuesday, claiming victory in both the at-large race between incumbent Democratic Council President Dino Autiello and opponent Francesco “Porky” Martinelli, and the District 3 race between Democrat Mario Martone and Republican Brendan Snodgrass.

Autiello had sought the at-large seat because of a desire to represent all town residents as council president. He and Martone are childhood friends, and he supported Martone throughout the primary and general election campaigns.

On a voting day that saw heavy rain much of the afternoon, the council president took home 70.1 percent of the vote against Martinelli, or 7,640 votes to 3,200 votes with 100 percent of precincts reporting. Martone has a slightly narrower win but still took District 3 with ease, securing 69.2 percent of the vote, or 2,539 votes, to 30.6 percent of the vote for Snodgrass, or 1,123 votes.

Speaking at victory party headquarters at 1527 Smith St., Autiello said he’s thrilled to win, particularly after growing up in town.

“We could have lived anywhere but we chose to live here. I have friends throughout the whole town and I look forward to representing all of them,” he said.

Martone thanked the voters of District 3.

“I have to thank all my family, my friends that all helped out. It was a miserable day today and they all stood outside,” he said. “And I appreciate the voters coming to the polls. And all that I can tell them is that I will do my absolute best for them in every decision that I make.”

On helping Martone with his winning primary campaign, Autiello said he has the best time of his life in politics working with his friend over the summer.

“It was very interesting to sit back and not be the candidate and it was really fun. His hard work paid off. So I was very, very proud of that,” he said.

Autiello said it was great to see voters come out on a rainy day, “and I couldn’t be more happy to represent them.

“Like I said, we’ve really had a lot of good things going on in the town. We have a $75 million infrastructure bond for the schools, which we’ve become the model for the state, we have our public safety complex being built with no cost to the taxpayers, and we just had a solar farm ribbon cutting. I want to see all these projects finished out, and with that being said, once these projects are done, if we can sell off that land where the public safety complex is now, that’s years we can go without a tax increase for the residents.”

Martone thanked residents for the support and said he looks forward to serving another four years.

The newcomer said Autiello was “unbelievable” in helping with his campaign.

“I couldn’t have done it without him,” he said.

As he walked the town, said Martone, he told a lot of people that he thinks the town is in really good shape.

“What I want to do is keep the ball rolling. And as far as tonight goes, we are going to enjoy it, we’re going to celebrate, and then we’ll figure out what we are going to do going forward in the next few weeks and months.”

Snodgrass and Martone, who both serve on the town’s zoning board, had run a clean campaign, both running on quality of life issues for the district. Martinelli had taken a more strident tone in his challenge of Autiello, saying the incumbent is “married to the system” that no longer works for the people.

North Providence residents gave incumbent Gov. Gina Raimondo a smaller margin of victory than she achieved statewide in defeating Republican Allan Fung, voting 46.7 percent to 42.4 percent to back the Democrat. Independent Joe Trillo was a distant third at 5.2 percent.

A number of local races were decided in the September primary, with Stefano Famiglietti unseating Raymond DeStefanis for his District 2 seat on the Town Council and Democrats sweeping to victory in the school board races. Famiglietti and fellow Democratic newcomer Ronald Baccala Jr., in District 1, both won easily Tuesday with no other names on the ballot.

School board seats were decided in the primary election, with newcomer Charles Pollock winning in District 2 and incumbent Chairman Anthony Marciano taking the at-large race. Newcomers Arthur Corsini, in District 3, and Frank Pallotta, in District 1, also breezed to victory Tuesday with no announced challengers in the general election.

The town’s main General Assembly districts all featured incumbents running unopposed, while districts with small sections of town saw races. Senate District 17 appeared too close to call as of press time, with incumbent Republican Thomas Paolino holding less than a 50-vote lead.

North Providence voters gave Lavallee more votes than Paolino in the town part of District 17, with a vote of 786 to 500. Paolino took the North Smithfield part of the district, 647-514, and won Lincoln, 3,930-3,751.

Incumbent District 22 Sen. Stephen Archambault secured more than 60 percent of the vote against Republican Greg Tocco in each of the three towns he represents, including Smithfield, North Providence and Johnston.

Lawrence Flynn, director of the North Providence Board of Canvassers, had predicted lower turnout for Tuesday’s midterm due to a small number of challenged seats and no mayoral race, or about 7,500-8,000 voters, but the results exceeded 2014 numbers when 11,271 voters cast a ballot, finishing at more than 11,400.

Mario Martone addresses supporters after he wins the District 3 Town Council seat over Brendan Snodgrass 2,539 to 1,123.
Shana Autiello, left, and Ken Martone post the precinct election results.

Comments

Thanks to the Breeze/Ethan for covering the District 3 race. It was a long shot, and did not turn out the way I wanted, but I am glad I did it. Without the NP-GOP this would not be possible. They have 100% been supportive of local candidates, and provided multiple forums for the residents on a wide range of issues. And I especially thank the 1100+ people who cast a ballot for me. I wish Councilor-Elect Martone the best of luck in politics and in life. At this time I am 100% in for 2020. I very much respect and admire Councilor DiLorenzo, however I do believe we need to have contested General Elections in N.P. It should not be over after the Primary. I will be at the Jan. Town Council meeting - as I do after every election - to lobby for Public Comment at meetings. Maybe 2019 will be the year.