Clifford withdraws from N.S. council race

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NORTH SMITHFIELD – Voters will have one less choice for a position in municipal leadership this November following candidate Michael Clifford’s withdrawal from the North Smithfield Town Council race.

Clifford, one of eight candidates to submit nomination papers seeking election to the five-member board by the deadline on Friday, withdrew his name from the race on Monday, July 18.

Candidates for the nonpartisan board still in the running include incumbent Council President John Beauregard, who qualified collecting 72 signatures; Vice President Kimberly Alves, who collected 74; and incumbents Stephen Corriveau and Claire O’Hara, who turned in 68 and 78 signatures respectively.

Candidates for both the Town Council and the School Committee needed the signatures of 50 town residents on the nomination papers to qualify, and according to information provided to NRI NOW this week by the town clerk’s office, the Board of Canvassers has also completed the process of certifying the submissions.

Councilor Paul Vadenais is not seeking reelection in 2022, but challengers to step forward include budget board member and former town administrator candidate Douglas Osier, who secured 74 signatures; former Town Administrator Paulette Hamilton, who collected 59; and Cheryl Marandola, a former council candidate and current member of the town’s recreation committee, who turned in 64.

On the School Committee, all four candidates for the two potential seats returned signed nomination papers, and remain in the race as of Thursday, July 21. They include incumbent member William Connell who submitted 76 signatures; and his challengers, former Town Councilor and Budget Committee member Terri Bartimioli, who submitted 68; 2020 council candidate Christopher Simpkins, who turned in 67; and one newcomer to local politics, Kristen Zitterell, who turned in School Committee nomination papers with 78 signatures.

Current committee member Paul Jones, a Democrat, will instead run for state legislature, challenging incumbent Republican Rep. Brian Newberry for his District 48 seat.

The municipal candidates are set to compete in a General Election scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 8. No primary will be held for North Smithfield’s municipal offices.

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