SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — The chairwoman of South Kingstown’s School Committee wasn’t able to gain a spot on the Nov. 3 general election ballot after placing fifth out of six Democrats running in the Sept. 8 primary for seats on the committee.
Chairwoman Stephanie Canter, an endorsed candidate, received 2,092 votes, but it wasn’t enough to overcome stronger showings by Paula J. Whitford, Christie L. Fish, Melissa A. Boyd and incumbent Michelle Brousseau.
“All the ballots are counted, and that’s a wrap for my formative time spent serving on the School Committee,” Canter said. “I am so thankful for everyone that encouraged me to be brave until the end. I will always fight for students and teachers, and fight to elect leaders that do the same.”
Whitford received the most votes – 2,668, or just under 20 percent of ballots cast.
“I am overjoyed,” Whitford said. She congratulated the other candidates, her family, friends and volunteers.
“I’ll be sharing my ideas on new topics in the coming weeks and look forward to more conversations with South Kingstown residents,” she said.
Placing sixth was Cadence L. Hansen, with 1,895 votes.
COVID-19 has radically altered voting practices at the local level. With just under 3,000 residents in South Kingstown requesting mail-in ballot applications and another 300 asking for last-minute emergency ballots, the final results of the primary were not known until late last week.
Town Council President Abel Collins topped all local Democratic candidates in South Kingstown’s Sept. 8 primary after final results were released.
In a message to voters, Collins, who received 2,963 votes, said he supported council candidates Jessica Rose and Edward Myszak, as well as fellow incumbents Deborah Kelso and Rory McEntee. All were endorsed candidates.
“Rory McEntee and Deb Kelso have proven themselves as civil, open-minded, and thoughtful council members. With a term now under each of their belts, I look forward to seeing them take more leadership on the council.”
Kelso and McEntee came in second and third, with 2,685 and 2,671 votes, respectively. Rose and candidate Deborah Bergner won with 2,504 and 2,280 votes, respectively.
Voters were asked to choose five council candidates. That left Myszak, an endorsed candidate, as the one not chosen to appear on the Nov. 3 ballot. He received 2,127 votes.
“I would be remiss if I didn’t give thanks to Joe Viele and Bryant Da Cruz who have chosen not to run again, but who will surely continue to contribute to the direction the town goes from here,” Collins said. “It’s been a pleasure to work alongside them both on the council.”
The council ballot for Nov. 3 will include one Republican, James L. Lathrop, according to the secretary of state.
Independent candidates for council on the ballot are Alex M. Petrucci, Charles G. Sweet, David N. Laudati and Dorald W. Beasley.
Also appearing on the ballot for School Committee in November are independent candidates Jacy A. Northup, Jason M. Colvin, Karen A. Humes, Paula L. Bradley, former superintendent Robert A. Hicks and Valerie M. Speredelozzi.