Eight declare 2022 runs for N.S. Town Council; four seek election to two School Committee seats

Declaring their intent to run for the North Smithfield Town Council are from top to bottom, left to right, Michael Clifford, Cheryl Marandola, Paulette Hamilton and Douglas Osier.

NORTH SMITHFIELD – With the declaration period for candidates in the upcoming election cycle now complete, North Smithfield voters are on track to see familiar faces seeking seats on local boards, and choices to make in both the upcoming primary and General Election.

The eight candidates to declare their intent to run for Town Council include all but one incumbent, and several other names likely quite familiar to voters.

Former council candidate and Budget Committee member Michael Clifford registered candidacy this week; as did former councilor, 2020 candidate for town administrator and current Budget Committee member Douglas Osier. Cheryl Merandola, a member of Parks & Recreation Committee who first sought a seat on the council in 2020, plans to try again in 2022.

And another town leader who held North Smithfield’s top office for eight years will look to return to municipal government. Former Town Administrator Paulette Hamilton has added her name to the list of 2022 candidates for Town Council.

Council President John Beauregard; Vice President Kimberly Alves; and Councilors Claire O’Hara and Stephen Corriveau all hope to defend their seats.

Longtime town official Paul Vadenais, meanwhile, a current councilor who has also served terms on the school board, will not seek reelection in 2022.

On the School Committee, four candidates will look to run for two seats with four year terms.

Current member William Connell submitted a declaration to seek reelection, running against former Town Councilor and Budget Committee member Terri Bartimioli, and 2020 council candidate Christopher Simpkins. One potential newcomer to local politics, Kristen Zitterell, also registered her intent to run.

According to the Town Charter, a primary takes place if there are more than twice as many candidates as open seats, so neither group will not face a primary in September even if all who registered complete the nomination process.

Current committee member Paul Jones, a Democrat will instead run for state legislature, challenging incumbent Republican Rep. Brian Newberry for his District 48 seat in November. Libertarian candidate James Aubin has also declared the intent to campaign for the seat representing North Smithfield and Burrillville.

In Rhode Island House District 49, Glenn Dusablon of North Smithfield will face off against Democrat Alexander Kithes in a September primary for a seat currently held by Steve Lima, who is not seeking reelection. Jon Brien of Woonsocket will run as an independent in the district, which also includes a portion of North Smithfield.

Senate Minority Whip Jessica de la Cruz is set to run unopposed in District 23, while Democratic Sen. Melissa Murray is on track to face a November contest against one of two Republican contenders: Craig Lacouture or David Slavin.

Senate District 17, which includes parts of Lincoln, North Providence and North Smithfield, will see a race between Republican Sen. Thomas Paolino, Democrat Cameron Deutsch, and Lincoln resident Jack Lyle, who is running as an independent.

Remaining seats on the staggered five-member North Smithfield school board, held by Chairman James Lombardi, Vice Chairperson Jean Meo and Secretary Peg Votta, are not up for reelection in 2022.

Those hoping to serve must now submit signed nomination papers by the deadline of Wednesday, July 13 to qualify as candidates.

Editor’s note: An original version of the above article stated that School Committee candidates could face a primary. Sen. Thomas Paolino was also identified as a Democrat. We apologize for the errors.

NRI NOW will compile candidacy announcements upon request for all those who declare the intent to run in Burrillville, North Smithfield and Glocester. Candidates are invited to share relevant information to sandy@nrinow.news. After nomination papers are submitted and certified, candidates subject to a primary are invited to submit three press releases relevant to their platform prior to Tuesday, Sept. 13. An additional three opportunities to publish information will be offered to all who qualify for the General Election in November.

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