Tuesday's election saw Gov. Dan McKee successfully fend off four primary opponents, Brett Smiley being elected new mayor of Providence and incumbents in the General Assembly having a good night.
In the race for governor, McKee narrowly won his party’s nomination. McKee got 32.8% of the vote, former CVS executive received 29.9% and Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea placed third with 26.2%. Former Secretary of State Matt Brown got 7.9% of the vote and Doctor Luis Daniel Muñoz earned 3.1%. McKee ran up the margins in areas like Warwick, Cranston, Pawtucket, North Providence, Johnston and his hometown of Cumberland. In most of those cities and towns, Foulkes would place second. Gorbea placed first in Providence – getting 33.6% of that vote.
On the Republican side for governor, Ashley Kalus easily beat Jonathan Riccitelli, garnering 83.7% of the vote share. The general election will see five candidates total: Kalus, McKee, independent Zachary Hurwitz, independent Paul Rianna Jr., and Libertarian Elijah Gizzarelli.
The Democratic primaries for lieutenant governor, secretary of state and general treasurer weren’t as competitive. Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos won the Democratic nomination convincingly over State Representative Deb Ruggiero and State Senator Cynthia Mendes. Matos will face Republican Aaron Guckian in November.
State Representative Gregg Amore secured the victory over Stephanie Beauté for Secretary of State. Amore will be on the ballot for November versus Republican Pat Cortellessa. For treasurer, former Central Falls Mayor had a decisive win over former Rhode Island Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor – winning with 55.5% of the vote to Pryor’s 44.5%. Diossa will now run against Republican James Lathrop in the general election.
In Rhode Island’s Second Congressional District, voters selected General Treasurer Seth Magaziner to face former Cranston Mayor Allan Fung in November. This race is either candidate’s to lose. Both Magaziner and Fung are raising big money. National Republicans also see this seat as flippable, with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) visiting Rhode Island in hopes of helping Fung.
Smiley won the race for mayor of Providence with 41.9% of the vote. Gonzalo Cuervo received 36.5% of the votes, placing second, and Nirva LaFortune placed third with 21.6%. No Republicans or independents are running, so Smiley will be Providence’s new mayor once inaugurated in January 2023.
For the General Assembly races, it was a bad night for the Rhode Island Political Cooperative candidates. Only four of the 29 candidates won their primaries, and two had no primary opponent. However there were surprises for General Assembly races. In House District 9, Enrique Sanchez unseated State Representative Anastasia Williams, a 30-year incumbent.
The November election may see just as many, if not more surprises in Rhode Island. How the national environment will look and what effect that has in Rhode Island remains to be seen.