A new year has arrived, and another campaign season is just around the corner.

In November 2018, Rhode Islanders will head to the polls to decide a number of statewide races, with the contest for governor leading the way. Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo will face re-election, while Cranston Mayor Allan Fung and state Rep. Patricia Morgan will vie for the Republican nomination. Businessman Giovanni Feroce has also announced plans to run, likely in the GOP primary.

Former Rep. Joe Trillo, who had been expected to run as a Republican, has announced an independent bid for the governor’s seat, scrambling the field and increasingly the likelihood that Rhode Island’s chief executive will again be elected with a plurality of the vote.

Beyond the marquee match-ups, however, will be races of great local significance. Voters in our communities will decide on Town Council and School Committee seats, choosing leaders who will oversee key initiatives and set local policy in the years to come. They will also elect members of the General Assembly to make South County’s voice heard on Smith Hill.

We applaud those who are willing to become involved as candidates. It is a rigorous process, and we have found that the majority of those who seek to serve do so for the right reasons.

We also encourage all members of our communities to stay engaged and informed as this election season plays out. Civic participation helps ensure that all perspectives are brought to the table, and that government, to the greatest extent possible, reflects the will of the people it serves.

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