Paiva-Weed prepares for 10th Senate term
Incumbents M. Teresa Paiva- Weed and Deborah L. Ruggiero, both Democrats, handily won their elections Tuesday to the R.I. State Senate and the R.I. State House of Representatives, respectively.
The winners were gracious in their acceptance statements, thanking their opponents for running positive campaigns against them.
Paiva-Weed won with 5,677 votes (66 percent). Geoffrey William Cook (R), the only candidate to run against her, received 2,923 votes. Jamestown residents voted in favor of Paiva-Weed (1,835 to 1,100), as she won with 62.5 percent of the island’s support.
Ruggiero cruised to victory with a total of 2,708 votes (52.8 percent). Following Ruggiero was Anthony Mastrostefano (R), who tallied 1,601 votes (31.2 percent), and Daniel Capuano (I), who received just 820 votes (16 percent). Jamestown residents followed suit with Ruggiero (1,585, 53.6 percent) finishing comfortably ahead of Mastrostefano (878, 29.7 percent) and Capuano (493, 16.7 percent).
In the closest vote relevant to the island, Question 5 passed by a mere 14 votes out of 2,966 ballots cast. The referendum, which was a proposal for wind-turbine financing, was passed by a 1,490 to 1,476 margin. Senator, District 13
Winner: Sen. M. Teresa
President of the state Senate, Paiva-Weed is also a former Senate majority leader, vice chairwoman of the Senate Finance Committee and deputy chair of the Finance Subcommittee on Public Safety and the Environment. She also served as the Senate’s first woman chairperson of the Judiciary Committee. She is completing her ninth term, having served as a senator for 18 years.
The senator said she was grateful to the voters in Newport and Jamestown for their support.
“It was a tough year filled with difficult decisions,” the reelected senator said. “I thank all of my supporters for having faith in me to make the right decisions and continue serving them. I give special thanks to all the volunteers and support staff that worked so diligently to assure our success. I promise to work hard for all of my constituents and give them the representation that is deserving of their votes.”
Geoffrey William Cook (R)
“Although I’m disappointed, I don’t think we did that badly. I ran my entire campaign with a budget of $1,500 and got 32 percent of the vote against an incumbent who has served on the Senate for nine terms.
“I enjoyed debating Teresa, and the time we spent together. I think she realizes there are other perspectives, and that she can’t just win on her past laurels. I give her my warmest congratulations for her victory. I think we could work together to make Rhode Island a better place. If there is anything I can do toward that effort, I would be happy if she would call on me.” Representative, District 74
Winner: Rep. Deborah
L. Ruggiero (D)
Ruggiero is in her first term as a state representative. As a freshman legislator, she worked hard to improve the economy, create jobs and bring renewable energy to the forefront of economic development. She described her campaign platform priorities as the “four Es” – economy, environment, education and the elderly.
“I am proud to say that we won six out of six precincts,” she said. “I so appreciate the voters for their support. I also want to express my thanks to the many volunteers who worked tirelessly to make this campaign a success. Without them, it would not have been possible.
“Additionally, I thank my opponents for running positive, dignifi ed campaigns. They offered voters good choices, which is the way it should be. Voters deserve to have choices.
“I thank everyone who voted for me for letting me continue the work that I started. I will do everything I can to give you the best representation possible.”
Anthony A. Mastrostefano (R)
“I had a lot of fun campaigning and meeting the people of Jamestown. I thank everyone for listening to what I had to say. I thank the volunteers who worked so hard to get me elected, and I thank everyone who believed in me and cast their votes accordingly.’
Daniel J. Capuano (I)
“I want to thank everyone who supported me through this campaign. Dozens of people worked very hard to help me prevail over a formidable and proven opponent. I thank the voters who showed their support at the polls.”
Of the 4,749 registered voters on the island, 2,850 showed up to the polls on Tuesday, a total of 60 percent. With the 164 absentee votes included, the grand total of ballots cast in Jamestown was 3,014, good for 63.4 percent.