2020 Newport, Rhode Island Primary and General Elections

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September 8 – Primary Election for City Council

How does it work?

The Newport City Council consists of seven seats; four “At Large” and three “Ward” seats (1st, 2nd, and 3rd). (map)

For the 2020 elections, the 12 “At Large” candidates face-off. The top 8 vote-getters going on to the General Election on November 3.

The 3rd Ward has three candidates, so the primary will select the top two vote-getters to go on to the General Election.

The 12 “At Large” Primary candidates

  1. Derek W Grinkin
  2. Elizabeth “Beth” Evans Cullen
  3. Elizabeth Fuerte
  4. Jamie Bova (Incumbent)
  5. Jeanne-Marie Napolitano (Incumbent)
  6. Justin S. McLaughlin (Incumbent) 
  7. Kevin Michaud
  8. Lynn Ceglie (Incumbent for Ward 2)
  9. Meagan E Landry
  10. Olga Enger
  11. Susan Taylor
  12. William E Kimes

The 3rd Ward Candidates

  1. Kathryn E. Leonard (Incumbent) 
  2. Paul Edward Marshall 
  3. Rachel S Hussey 

November 3 – General election for City Council

“At Large” Candidates: Top eight vote getters from Primary Election competing for four seats, plus one from each of the three Wards:

1st Ward

  1. Angela McCalla (Incumbent)
  2. Hugo Deascentis

2nd Ward

  1. Charlie Holder
  2. Kim Salerno

3rd Ward

Top two vote-getters from Primary election

For candidate statements, go to (click link)

To assist Newport voters, the Alliance for a Livable Newport asked challenging questions of the 12 At Large candidates and three 3rd Ward candidates vying for the Newport City Council Primary election on September 8. (The four candidates competing for the 1st and 2nd Ward seats in the General Election on November 3 have been asked the same questions.) All Ward candidates have been asked an extra question specific to their respective Ward.

As it has since 2008, the questions were selected by ALN from the many submissions received from its members and the general public. ALN will compile and release the answers that can be viewed this website the week of 8/10. (Join the ALN email list to receive notice).

These are the questions submitted to all candidates:

1.) Do you support the November ballot question for Newport to issue more than $100 million of bonds to be used to expand The Pell School and replace Rogers High School? If no, explain your reasons. If yes, what do you say to Newport residents and business owners concerned about the impact on their property taxes? If yes or no, what action(s) would you promote if the ballot question is defeated? 

2.) Traffic and parking problems in Newport persist and seem to be getting worse despite being the subject of countless studies and ad hoc committees. What specific measures (other than forming more committees and conducting more studies) would you promote to alleviate the problems? 

3.) Newport’s economy is closely tied to tourism. The risk of that dependence has been made abundantly clear by the COVID pandemic. What, if any, alternatives do you see to the reliance on tourism? Based on your answer, what specific actions should be taken to further promote tourism and/or what specific actions should be taken to expand the economy beyond tourism? 

4.) The closure of the Visitors Center was announced recently. What do you propose should be done with the property? 

5.) A Community Benefit Agreement (CBA) template is being considered as part of the North End Urban Plan (NEUP). What would you like to see included in the CBA template? What measures will you promote and support to put the NEUP on a clear path to implementation?” 

6.) What do you most want Newport voters to know about you?

In addition to these questions asked of all candidates, Ward candidates have been asked the following:

7a.) Question for Third Ward Council Candidates ONLY: Ocean Drive is the scene of traffic problems, speeding, illegal parking, and (primarily at Bretton State Park) loud noise and trash. Although these problems are at their worst during the summer months, they persist to some degree throughout the year. What specific measures would you promote to deal with these problems?

7b.) Question for Second Ward Council Candidates ONLY: The intersection of Rhode Island Avenue and Memorial Boulevard is the scene of congestion and multiple accidents every summer. The traffic overflow from the north to Memorial is now affecting Red Cross and Gibbs as well. What measures should be adopted to handle this problem?

7c.) Question for First Ward Council Candidates ONLY: The preferred plan for the Pell Bridge Off ramp Realignment is now known. What measures should the City of Newport plan and enact to minimize disruption to the surrounding neighborhoods both during construction and, more importantly, after project completion?

Once the answers are available, ALN will send notice to its members with a link to the responses.

In addition to the written survey, ALN, Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce, the League of Women Voters of Newport County, Newport Buzz, Newport This Week and WADK radio have combined forces to host on-air “Zoom” forums for candidates in each of the races, beginning on Aug. 6 at 7 p.m. when those running for state representative will square off. Voters can view the forums which will be posted on each of the organization’s websites once confirmed. It is also hoped that follow-up questions posed by voters will later be answered by candidates on WADK radio’s “Talk of the Town” program with Bruce Newbury, which airs daily from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

November 3 – General election for Newport School Committee

As it has for the Newport City Council races, ALN will select questions on Newport School related issues that receive the most attention, possibly combining submitted questions that address the same issue and editing submissions for clarity and preciseness. ALN will then select no fewer than four, nor more than seven questions to ask of the following 10 candidates (for the seven seats on the Committee)

  1. David R Carlin III
  2. James A Dring
  3. Louisa Boatwright (Incumbent)
  4. Michael J Cullen
  5. Nycole S Matthews
  6. Raymond Gomes (Incumbent)
  7. Rebecca Bolan (Incumbent) 
  8. Robert J. Leary (Incumbent)
  9. Sandra J. Flowers (Incumbent)
  10. Stephanie J Winslow (Incumbent)

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