Local General Assembly races see some new faces win

Local General Assembly races see some new faces win

Tuesday’s election results mean new faces and political viewpoints at the Statehouse as retirements, resignations, and overthrows reigned in Smithfield, Scituate, Foster and Glocester.

Smithfield state representative races held no surprises as incumbent Sen. Stephen Archambault, a Democrat, picked up the win in Senate District 22, representing Smithfield, Johnston and North Providence.

Archambault beat Gregory Tocco, his Republican challenger, 6,986 votes to 3,823 votes.

A lifelong Smithfield resident, Archambault will return for his fourth consecutive term in office. His campaign manager, Charles Jackvony, released a statement regarding the win:

“Sen. Archambault is grateful to be re-elected by District 22, and hopes to continue serving the people to the best of his ability.”

Former Town Council member Bernard Hawkins, a Democrat, came out on top in the House District 53 race after gaining an endorsement from retiring Rep. Thomas Winfield. Hawkins earned 52.4 percent of the vote, or 2,840, defeating Republican Richard Poirier by 278 votes.

Hawkins said he felt ecstatic about the win. He thanked Winfield for his service, and said he had “pretty big shoes to fill.”

“The support is wonderful. I’d like to thank everybody who came out to support me. I look forward to serving them,” Hawkins said.

Republican incumbent House District 41 Rep. Robert Quattrocchi will return for his second term after handily defeating newcomer Michael Steiner, a Democrat.

Quattrocchi said he was very excited about winning, and will continue pursuing this “conservative dream” of creating the independent office of inspector general.

Scituate voted overwhelmingly Republican, with Quattrocchi earning 64 percent of the vote. Steiner took home 2,538 votes, falling well short of the 4,513 Quattrocchi earned.

Three candidates competed for the District 21 Senate spot, and Gordon Rogers, Republican, beat opponents for the seat. Rogers earned 5,237 votes, with independent candidate Dr. Michael Fine in second, with 3,725 votes, and Democrat James Safford capturing 3,326 votes.

Rogers began his campaign days after former Sen. Nicholas Kettle announced his resignation in February. He said he was confident coming into Tuesday’s election, and felt his service on the Foster Town Council helped him secure the win.

“I want to thank everyone who came out to support me. All three candidates worked hard,” Rogers said.

Rogers will finish out his term on the Foster Town Council before being sworn into the Senate.

“The challenge will be to going from my Chippewa work boots to dress shoes,” Rogers said.

In Foster and Glocester, incumbent District 40 Rep. Michael Chippendale, Republican, will return for his fifth term in the General Assembly after defeating Democrat Lauren Niedel-Gresh. Chippendale won 60.9 percent of the vote, pulling in 3,749 votes to Niedel-Gresh’s 2,398.

Republican David Place will replace Rep. Cale Keable, Democrat, who lost footing in his campaign after allegations of sexual harassment toward a colleague were brought to light last week. Place won 56.7 percent of the vote in the District 47 representative seat, earning 2,959 votes to Keable’s 2,244.

Keable’s run took a big hit on Oct. 29 when WPRI 12 reported Rep. Katherine Kazarian’s email to House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello regarding alleged harassment by Keable.