The Democrats outmaneuvered the Republicans by leveraging fear of a pandemic with a mortality rate of less than 3%, mostly among the elderly and those with underlying health issues, and a hospitalization rate of 17.8% into a four-week election cycle involving mass mailings, absentee ballots and early voting.
More Rhode Island voters mailed in their ballot and stood in line at a town hall for hours rather than vote in person on Nov. 3 in a few minutes. More voters chose to use “distance voting” without having to prove their identity or have their signature witnessed or notarized than going to their polling place, showing a photo i.d. and having two supervisors initial their approval.
Locally, Senate District 36 early voting resulted in the election of a new, left-leaning Democrat, Alissa DiMaro, over former Republican state representative and town councilor Doreen Costa and conservative Narragansett council president, independent Matthew Mannix.
Ms. Costa complained that Mannix’s candidacy cost her the election. She said, “[Mannix] had no shot in hell, and he knew it.” However, a look at the results shows otherwise.
DiMario beat Costa by 1,470 votes. Mannix got 1,703 votes. Therefore, 87% of his votes would have to go for Costa for her to top DiMario. This is even more unlikely since it assumes that most of the 622 votes for Mannix in Narragansett would not have been cast for favorite daughter DiMario.
Progressive Democrat Tom Sgouros successfully steered North Kingstown to the left when three of the five town council candidates endorsed and paid for by the teachers’ union won. The two re-elected incumbent Republicans will be outnumbered which means Greg Mancini will probably continue as council president.
Attention North Kingstown property owners: open your wallets and checkbooks. The odds are that the school department budget will be rubber stamped by a 3 to 2 vote for the next two years. Republicans McKay and Brimer joined by Democrat Richard Welch held the line on property taxes over the cries of the school committee that the department has been underfunded for the last two years.
Richard J. August