2017-07-13 / Front Page

Euer Dawns on Voters

Olga Enger, James Merolla and Brooke Constance White

Democratic Candidate Dawn Euer earned a convincing victory Tuesday night, according to the preliminary results of the July 18 democratic for State Senate District 13 primary race.

The seat, which represents Newport and Jamestown, became vacant on March 31, 2017, when M. Teresa Paiva Weed (D) resigned to lead the Hospital Association of Rhode Island. Euer will face off against Republican Michael Smith, Green Party candidate Gregory Larson and Independent Kimberly Ripoli in the special election to be held Aug. 22.  

The results do not include mail-in or emergency ballots.

Euer celebrated her win at the Firehouse Theater surrounded by her campaign team and supporters. She said she was feeling excited about the unofficial results, which made it pretty clear that she had won by big margin.

“I was feeling good going into today because from the start I’ve had a lot of grassroots support,” she said. “From day one, I’ve been talking with Newport and Jamestown residents about what their most important issues are.”

Euer earned a strong first place with 876 of the total votes cast Tuesday. She was followed by Newport School Committee Chair David Hanos (510), Newport City Councilor John Florez (241) and David Allard (195).

Some of the issues Euer said she will focus on include making sure that working families can stay in Newport and Jamestown, passing smart and forward-thinking policies about the environment and economy
and taking care of seniors and elderly.

“It’s always hard to tell how these things will turn out but every day we kept talking to people to make sure they were voting,” she said. “I’ve been rooted in the community and I have worked on the grassroots issues. As an attorney, I think I will truly be a voice for the residents of Newport and Jamestown.”

In a short speech to the 40 attendees at the theater, Euer said the win isn’t about her but that it’s about Newport and Jamestown.

“I want to make sure that there’s someone at the state house who will put people first and I’ve been truly honored to earn the support of so many during the campaign,” she said.

Overall, 16 percent of eligible voters cast their votes at one of the four polling locations throughout the day. Only a few supporters with signs were spotted at the polls Tuesday.  

Almost 8 percent of the 11,550 voters applied for either a mail-in (786) or emergency (114) ballot. Those counts have not yet been included into the totals.  

“I’m really happy for Dawn. I would be happy to help her win the general election,” said Dave Allard, shortly after the results came in.

At the Elk’s Lodge where supporters of Hanos gathered, Paiva Weed commended Hanos on his campaign.

“David, I’m proud of you, you did great,” said Paiva Weed in front of his supporters. “You were honest, you worked hard,” said the former senate president.”

Hanos told Newport This Week he would consider running for the seat  in the 2018 election. “Let’s sleep on it and regroup,” he said.

Florez did not respond to comments by press time.

Kimberly Ripoli, the Libertarian candidate, was given the news of Euer’s victory while finishing a class on public corruption at Roger Williams University in Bristol Tuesday night.

“Obviously, Dawn has the support of the environmental groups and the support of the anti-casino lobby she advocated for,” said Ripoli. “She will be a formidable opponent.”

Ripoli added, however, that while Euer has a long resume, she does not have experience in state government and the military.

“If you run on experience, I have 30 years of experience as a director, running an agency for the State of Rhode Island,” said Ripoli. “I know how agencies work. I have actual government experience and 26 years in the military, and working during those years at the Pentagon.”

Green Party candidate Gregory Larson, upon learning of Euer’s win, focused on voter turnout. “That is a very low turnout for the Democrats,” he said.

The deadline to register for the special election is Sunday, July 23. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Tuesday, Aug. 1. The emergency ballot period for the special election runs from Aug. 2 through Aug. 21.

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