Magill storms to win in Cumberland's Council District 2

Magill storms to win in Cumberland's Council District 2

Tim Magill, candidate for Cumberland Town Council, right, stands with his supporter, former Cumberland Mayor Bill Murray, at the Cumberland High School polling place Tuesday. As of Tuesday night, Magill had secured 70 percent of votes. (Breeze photos by Charles Lawrence)

CUMBERLAND – Democrat Timothy Magill Jr. won a resounding 62.4 percent of the votes in the District 2 Town Council primary on Tuesday, a response, he said, to a campaign that got residents excited for a new voice representing them.

Magill had 450 votes to 271 votes for Tom Kane with all precincts reporting and mail ballots counted. Kane's percentage was 37.6 percent of the total.

Kane, 35, who had received endorsements from the Cumberland Democratic Town Committee, which he leads, as well as a list of local elected leaders and members of the town’s General Assembly delegation, came up well short in his bid to make a return to the elected body he previously served on for one term.

A Britts Ridge resident, Magill, 52, had some known names supporting him, including Rep. Jim McLaughlin and Councilor Mike Kinch, among others. He had repeatedly promoted himself as the candidate with new ideas, telling The Breeze he felt his team’s really hard work going door to door was a big part of what led to his primary day margin.

“Meeting the people, speaking with the people was a huge part of that success,” he said. “We worked really hard out there.”

Cumberland is ready for a fresh face in government with new ideas, he said, and the numbers showed it.

Asked if he felt support from some town Republicans helped his bid, Magill said it was rather about his support coming from “all one community, saying we’re Cumberland, Rhode Island, and this is our guy.”

The former North Providence police officer and husband to North Providence High School Principal Christen Magill, the unendorsed but winning Democrat Magill was the only challenger for any seat in Cumberland on Tuesday, and he made the most of his time in that spotlight. He promised in the final days of the campaign to be the independent voice for District 2, taking shots at the party endorsement process as he called for decisions to be made out in the open and not behind closed doors with “party bosses.”

Kane, meanwhile, was left to wonder what might have been with a more widespread town election, with few turning out to cast a vote in this race and no General Assembly races or mayoral contest to generate interest.

Craig Dwyer, the incumbent in District 2 who is retiring, endorsed Magill for the seat.

The turnout for a single district council seat was predictably low.

Voters appeared unconvinced by Kane’s descriptions of Magill as someone unprepared to address the significant challenges facing Cumberland over the coming months and years. Magill described himself as an independent voice, saying he’d help reach important decisions out in the open.

Magill has proposed a Plain Speak ordinance to clear up verbiage on charter questions, a simplified traffic calming plan, and a reversal of an earlier move to four-year terms. He says many residents were confused by 2018’s question on four-year terms, which is part of the reason he is proposing his Plain Speak ordinance.

His likely addition to the council would seem to raise some questions about the future of the newly adopted four-year terms, as Kinch has also consistently opposed the longer terms of office.

Retired Capt. James Hollis, of the USMC, cast his ballot at the Cumberland Public Library on Tuesday.
Tom Kane, candidate for Cumberland Town Council, and his wife, Allison, look for last minute votes outside the Cumberland High School polling location Tuesday. As of Tuesday night, Kane had secured approximately 30 percent of votes.


I suspect that there may have been a mile wide grin underneath Mayor Bill Murray's mask when this photo was taken !

brought to you by the same people who have been pulling the strings for decades.

I remind everyone to keep it civil. I've had to delete enough comments over the past few weeks to issue a reminder about what we don't allow. Calling people names and launching personal attacks are not allowed.