Votes Close in Race for Town Council, School Committee

Mail-in ballots will decide the final make-up of two local parties.


Both races for town council and school committee in North Kingstown are still tight as candidates await the final results. Though all 11 precincts in town have been reported, election officials still have to factor in the 1,100 or so mail-in/absentee ballots, which are expected to be counted by Wednesday morning.

(Check back later for official results once the mail-in ballots have been counted.)

According to North Kingstown Town Clerk Jeannette Alyward, vote turnout was 63 percent with about 13,000 votes cast.

Town Council

Unofficial Results Candidate Total Votes Percentage Elizabeth Dolan (R) 5477 9.6% Kerry McKay (R) 5226 9.1% Kevin Maloney (I) 4827 8.4% Richard Welch (D) 4564 8.0% Carol Hueston (R) 4504 7.9% Colin O'Sullivan (I) 4498 7.9% Michael Bestwick (D) 4127 7.2% Tracey McCue (D) 4017 7.0% Mark Hawkins (R) 3810 6.7% Rickey Thompson (I) 3669 6.4% Brent Cleaveland (R) 3576 6.2% Donald Souza, Jr. (D) 3310 5.8% Richard Lamere (I) 3248 5.7% Dorman Hayes (I) 2300 4.0% WRITE-IN 74 0.1%

Six votes separate the fifth- and sixth-place vote-getters in the race for Town Council. With only five seats on the council and 14 candidates, mail-in ballots will play a big role in who gets to sit at the council table in December. According to the Board of Elections, a mere 66 votes separate Welch (fourth place), Hueston (fifth place) and O'Sullivan (sixth place).

For Hueston, the close race isn't anything new as she lost by just one vote in a 2002 run for school committee. For now, she says she will wait and see what the mail-in ballot results bring.

As of Tuesday night's unofficial figures, Dolan is once again the top vote-getter for council with 9.6 percent of the vote and 5,477 votes cast. Behind her is fellow Republican Kerry McKay. In third is newcomer Kevin Maloney, who ran as an Independent.

"I find it hard to believe that voters voted back in several incumbents," said Welch. "I felt they should have been held accountable for some of the actions they took."

O'Sullivan, who currently sits in sixth place just six votes behind Hueston, stated he was satisfied with the results thus far.

"I came in sixth out of 14," said Sullivan. "I'll sleep very well tonight knowing that."

Whatever the makeup of the council will be once the dust settles, McKay remains confident that the five members will be able to work together. 

"These are good people who have good intentions just like me," said McKay. "We have to get everyone in the community working together."

School Committee

Unofficial Results Candidate Total Votes Percentage Cheryl Clarkin (I) 8643 29.5% Robert Jones (R) 7376 25.2% Lynda Avanzato (D) 6635 22.7% Augustine Manocchia 6500 22.2%

Things are also close at the cut-off for North Kingstown School Committee as just 135 vote separate Lynda Avanzato and Augustine Manocchia. 

Newcomer Cheryl Clarkin (an Independent endorsed by the North Kingstown Republican Town Committee) received the most votes for school committee.

"I'm excited to do this," added Clarkin. "We have a group of people now with the council and school committee who get along and have a similar vision."

Kerri Hicks November 07, 2012 at 12:06 PM
Is it 35 votes separating Lynda Avanzato and Augustine Manocchia, or is it 135 (as the chart shows)?
SoxFan November 07, 2012 at 12:38 PM
It's 135 between Avanzato and Manocchia. Just checked Secretary of State website to be sure: http://www.ri.gov/election/results/2012/general_election/north_kingstown/
NK resident 02 November 07, 2012 at 12:55 PM
I see Dick Welch has already taken a shot across the bow with his comments about incumbents being re-elected. I hope this is not a sign of how he will be working with others.
Politics Sheriff of NK November 07, 2012 at 01:31 PM
And I hope it IS. Those people get reelected not by voters who pay attention, but to those who dont have a clue whats going on, which is most voters, and those voters rely on name recognition only. If they HAD a clue, then you'd see the three independents who ran together, get close votes. But they didnt. This town got a crap council, again, and its their own fault.
MeanE November 07, 2012 at 02:27 PM
What's wrong with me? That's the question I ask myself this morning. How am I so different from so many of my neighbors? For the life of me, I can not see how 5,477 residents of NK could vote for Liz Dolan, 2300 for Dorman Hayes, when at the forum essentially said he was only there to have people hear him speak, and 3310 for a candidate that didn't even show up to the forum. I can only hope that the 13,000 people that voted yesterday actually pay attention to what is happening in this town. How many of them have ever been to or viewed a TC or SC meeting on a regular basis? I am so disgusted by the results of these elections, and it disturbs me that I am so disgusted.
Samantha Turner (Editor) November 07, 2012 at 02:42 PM
You are absolutely right. Just fixed that error. My apologies!
NKhannah November 07, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Does anyone know when the mail-in/absentee ballots will be posted online?
WaterLion November 07, 2012 at 03:33 PM
CompassCarrier November 07, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Samantha: I see the Patch laptop in the photo from Sonoma (the GOP meeting place) above. Were you also at the Dem meeting place last night?????
Samantha Turner (Editor) November 07, 2012 at 03:51 PM
I stopped in and didn't see anyone. (I'm not sure if Duffy's – the Dems location – cleared out early or whatnot.) Drove down to the Oak Hill where I knew some of the Independents were gathering and talked to them, along with several Dems who ended up relocating there. The logistics of last night were tough, as I ostensibly had to be in three places at once.
CompassCarrier November 07, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Samantha: But can you see where this type of photo does not give the impression of impartiality on the part of the Patch.........
Samantha Turner (Editor) November 07, 2012 at 04:21 PM
I see your point. If there had been a photo opportunity at the other locations, I would have done that. Unfortunately, there wasn't. The reason my laptop is in the shot is because I was at Sonoma when the results came in and started to update the info to the site. Since I try to be a nice person, I offered up my laptop to anyone who wanted to look at the results. A photo opportunity with the two top vote-getters arose and I took it.
Reality Bites November 07, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Hey MeanE Couldn't agree with you more. I find it hard to beleive that after all that Liz and company did to this town that she is back again!! How much more damage are they going to do before voters catch on!
Ritt Momney November 07, 2012 at 04:52 PM
compass carrier nneeds to lighten up
MeanE November 07, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Compass - Samantha obviously has a good grip on the pulse of the NK community. As she states, she was at the place with the two-top vote getters. Whether she likes them, voted for them, or not, as a single journalist, she was at the right place at the right time. I don't fault her for that, I commend her.
Politics Sheriff of NK November 07, 2012 at 06:29 PM
MeanE - correct. Samantha may be young and gaining experience in journalism and life as all young people do, but I highly doubt she is in the bag with Dolan and the NKGOP! There was a time when the NKDEMS had it together, were running the council and making real positive change such as reopening Fire Station 5, removing Halley and his broken admin, re-configuring K-5 schools, enacting a whistleblower act, and changing the town in NK. Then the drunkards and self-interested losers took over the party, and it fell apart. Meanwhile the NKGOP, not without its own despicable low-rent people, kept it more or less together and mailed out the shiny brochures etc to reel in the voters who pay no attention to the local papers or Patch or the issues, etc and dont pay the least attention to the community. The NKDEMS had a GOLDEN opportunity to capitalize on their positive record when in power, and like a crackhead lottery winner, blew it all on short term thinking within the party and destroyed themselves. Since the NKGOP is again the king of the hill, we can only hope the right side wins their own civil war they have going on. There is enough blame for NK's woes to go around, BUT NOT ME. And dont be tempted to blame Patch, they play a straight story. I just wish they would cover the more controversial policy stuff, investigate a little, real journo!
Robin Wilson November 07, 2012 at 09:17 PM
We can start a caption contest for this photo. I'll go first. "Ahhhh, so that's who NKGOP Watch is ..."
MeanE November 07, 2012 at 10:21 PM
Robin - No need for a contest, you just won! Very Funny stuff!
CompassCarrier November 08, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Caption for photo: "OOOH, Kerry! Google maps is great. We'll put a wind turbine farm, here, here and here. Then a Big Box store over here and here........ "
NK November 08, 2012 at 06:03 PM
The Democrats went to Duffy's Tavern, The Independent's went to the Oak Hill Tavern, and The Republicans celebrated at Dan Kinder's house.
Informed-Voter-NK November 09, 2012 at 04:51 AM
LOL and damn straight
magician November 09, 2012 at 12:58 PM
And the taxpaying suckers of NK had better all get second jobs. There was a great chance on Tuesday to clean house and vote in honest representatives of the people but it did not happen. Now the few will continue to be rewarded at the expense of those who choose to stay and live here. Oops what was that sound? I think it was the taxpayer's piggy bank being smashed by the gop. However the dems also will be at the trough, especially at the state level. Finally the dream comes true fulltilt gaming at Twin River, soooooey!
nkres November 09, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Kinder hit the lottery. At least 2 more years of lawsuits, billing at $800 per hour. Mike E must be breathing easier now as well. Why was Bestwick hanging out with the Republicans as pictured in the Standard TImes?
MeanE November 09, 2012 at 03:30 PM
A few of observations. With 14 candidates on the ballot, we have a top vote getter receiving ONLY 9.6% of the votes. I believe that this is the lowest percentage of any town in RI. I am struggling to come to grips on whether having so many residents interested in becoming a TC member is a good thing, or if it just muddies the water and changes the complexion of elections. In addition, I also wonder if TC & SC representatives should be voted on via districts within NK. I understand that NK may not be as large as other communities that vote this way, but I am not sure that some areas are receiving proper representation. Where do these 5 members live? Do they have the ENTIRE town's interests in mind or could they be skewed by their economic standing and physical address within NK? Many talked about improving the North End during their campaigns, but how many actually live in the North End? IMO the local media, including the Patch, did a good job of independently reporting on the candidates prior to the elections. Unlike the National media outlwts, who always have agendas. Unfortunately, by the results of the election, I don't feel that enough people paid attention to all of the info that was out there. I am looking forward to seeing how the new faces impact the issues in NK. Just post-election thoughts.
MeanE November 09, 2012 at 03:41 PM
nkres - In terms of Bestwick hanging out with the Republicans, I am torn. On one hand, many of us always talk that we want to eliminate party politics and we want our representatives to work together. On the other hand with the party jumping politics that have gone on in recent history in NK, it's understandable that it's questionable, especially on election night. I want to believe that by working on the TC together that these folks formed an innocent friendship that allows for them to put aside their party politics, but not knowing these folks, I can only guess.
Politics Sheriff of NK November 09, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Four more years of Avanzato!
Dark star November 10, 2012 at 12:42 AM


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