2014-03-27 / Front Page

Important dates for candidates

Today is the final day for islanders who plan on running for election to disaffiliate from their current political parties.

Along with the gubernatorial race that will decide Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s replacement, local voters will have plenty of decisions to make come November. Up for grabs in town are five seats on the council and two on the school board. The councilors are elected to two-year terms, while committee members on the school board are elected to serve four years.

The terms of B.J. Whitehouse and Sarah Baines expire this year on the School Committee.

Also, candidates will be vying for a U.S. Senate seat, a U.S. House representative from Rhode Island’s 1st Congressional District, and both of Jamestown’s delegates in the state legislature. The seats are currently occupied, respectively, by U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, Congressman David Cicilline, Sen. President Teresa Paiva Weed and Rep. Deb Ruggiero. All seats are two-year terms, except for the U.S. Senate, which is six-year term.

The first deadline for candidates who wish to file a declaration of candidacy is disaffiliation. Because candidates must choose their party 90 days before they declare, today is the final day – the deadline for contenders to throw their hat in the ring is June 25. Candidates who are already registered Republicans, for example, who want to run on the GOP ticket, have nothing to do. Neither do Independents.

Other important dates are May 25, the deadline to register to vote in order to file a declaration of candidacy; June 11, the last day for disaffiliation for primary voters; June 25, when the filing period to declare candidacy ends; Aug. 10, the deadline to register to vote in the party primaries; and Oct. 5, the deadline to register to vote in the general election.

For seats in Congress, or to run for governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general or general treasurer, candidates must file their declaration of candidacy at Secretary of State Ralph Mollis’ office at 148 West River Street in Providence. For all other offices, such as the state legislature and local boards, candidates can file with the board of canvassers at Town Hall.

The declaration must contain original signatures, and cannot be faxed or emailed. Candidates for U.S. Senate and governor need 1,000 signatures of registered voters, while candidates for lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, general treasurer and the U.S. House seat need 500. To run for the state legislature, prospective senators need 100 signatures, and candidates running for the R.I. House or local boards need 50.

The primaries will be held on Sept. 9, and the general election is scheduled for Nov. 4.

Finally, a two-year term for moderator will also be on the ballot. John Murphy ran unopposed in the last election.

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