Houle leads with voters, winning seat on Burrillville Town Council

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BURRILLVILLE – A former restaurant owner with experience serving on a village fire district has secured a seat on the Burrillville Town Council, coming in first among five contenders for four open spots.

David Houle was the top vote-getter in the unofficial tally Tuesday night, securing 3,483 votes – nearly 200 more than the second choice with voters, current Town Council President Don Fox.

The win leaves the seven-member board with just one remaining Democrat. Councilor Amanda Gingell did not seek re-election in 2022 and Democrat Stacey Slekis came in fifth among the candidates, with 2,380 votes. Democrat Jeremy Bailey, and Republican Councilors Justin Batalon and Raymond Trinque, all have two years remaining in their four-year terms on the board.

Houle, an account manager and director of facilities for Portsmouth-based Aramark, is a graduate of Rhode Island College with a bachelor’s degree in industrial management.

He is the original owner of Gator’s Pub, running the restaurant for its first ten years in business, and was also the original owner and developer of Bronco’s Crossing. Houle also has experience serving the town as a member of the Harrisville Fire and Water District Commission.

“I believe the voters are happy with the way the Republicans are running the town,” Houle told NRI NOW in reaction to the win Tuesday night.

“I plan on focusing on improving the town infrastructure,” he said. “We have the right team in place.”

The non-partisan School Committee also saw a newcomer receiving more votes than incumbents seeking re-election, with lifelong Burrillville resident David Landry, chief operating officer of Woonsocket-based business Cabinet Gallery, securing 2,919 votes.

Incumbents Terri Lacey and Silvia St. Pierre secured new four-year terms, and Jill Calapai, who was appointed last November to fill a vacancy left by the resignation of Dot Cardon, came in fourth with 2,673 votes.

The outcome means that the fifth-highest vote getter, incumbent Donison Allen, will now serve the remaining two years of Cardon’s term.

Michael Puyana was unable to secure a seat, coming in last with 1,756 votes in Tuesday’s tally, which included both mail ballots and early votes according to the state Board of Elections, although results must still be certified.

Chairperson Alexandra LeClair did not seek reelection in 2022, and members Victor Bevilacqua and Sean Bouzan secured four-year terms in the 2020 election cycle.

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