NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — The North Kingstown Town Council will have a slightly new look, with three incumbents being joined by two newcomers and the Democrats taking a majority on the council once again.
As he did in 2018, Town Council President Greg Mancini finished as the top vote getter, with the Democrat receiving 8,310 votes (12.7 percent), followed by fellow Democrat and former School Committee Chairwoman Kim Page with 7,991 (12.2 percent), Republican Kerry McKay with 7,354 (11.2 percent), Democrat Katie Anderson with 7,301 (11.1 percent) and Republican Mary Brimer with 7,158 (10.9 percent).
“I am humbled that the electorate voted the way they did for me, it’s something I take very seriously and appreciate,” Mancini said. “I also want to commend all of the candidates, regardless of party, for stepping up to the plate and participating in our democracy. I’m also thrilled that we’re going to have a Democratic majority with two very other very capable town councilors.”
Incumbent independent Kevin Maloney, who rejoined the council in July to fill the vacancy left by Stacey Elliott when she stepped down in June, finished sixth with 6,816 votes (10.4 percent) and incumbent Democrat Richard Welch, a former Town Council president who’s served on the legislative body since 2016 after also serving from 2012-2014, ran a write-in campaign along with fellow Democrat Rickey Thompson, with the two’s votes being among the 1,486 write-in votes cast in town.
The winning Democrats ran a joint five-way campaign with former Newport Police sergeant and New Deal Horse and Carriage co-owner Jack Kliever (6,451 votes) and MyMOC CEO Brad Artery (5,965 votes) finishing eighth and ninth respectively, while retired U.S. Navy commander and Zoning Board Chairman Randy Wietman (6,790 votes), who ran a joint campaign with fellow Republicans McKay and Brimer, finished seventh.
For Page, the win marks a return to town politics after she served on the North Kingstown School Committee from 2006 to 2014, including serving as its Chairwoman from 2010 to 2014.
“I am very honored and thankful to the North Kingstown voters for electing me to the North Kingstown Town Council,” Page said. “I will work with my fellow councilors to make our town the best it can be for business opportunities, education and quality of life.”
For McKay, the longest-tenured member of the council who’s been seated since 2012 and has served as president pro tempore since 2018, said while he was glad to be re-elected, he questioned disparities between polling and the actual results, with the mostly full results not being released until around 1 a.m. Wednesday.
“How do mail in ballots become so lopsided when they don’t come close to mirroring the poll results or the 20 day prior results,” McKay said when asked for comment.
For Anderson, a social worker by trade, the win will allow her to share her vision for the town.
“We had a hard-fought race for Town Council,” Anderson said. “The (Five Forward NK) Democrats gave it our all and campaigned based on values we collectively hold dear: inclusion, participation, dialogue, civility, and progress. I’m proud of the campaigns we ran, and I’m humbled and grateful that North Kingstown residents have elected a Democratic majority. Now we get to work to heal divisions and get our town government functioning effectively again.”
For Brimer, who did not respond to a request for comment prior to press time, a second term on the council means another chance to ensure fiscal responsibility while also recognizing town needs.
The new Town Council will be officially sworn in at the Dec. 7. meeting while the current council of Mancini, McKay, Brimer, Welch and Maloney will meet for a final time on Nov. 16.
All results listed are correct as of publication and could be subject to change as more votes are tallied. Final numbers will be listed in next week’s edition of The Independent.