Newport This Week

Newport’s Kalus Set to Face McKee

Newport Fifth Ward resident and Republican hopeful Ashley Kalus will face incumbent Gov. Dan McKee in November after both candidates won their respective primary elections on Sept. 13.

Kalus easily defeated Jonathan Riccitelli, collecting 83.7 percent of the vote. In Newport, she received 192 votes (84.2 percent), while Riccitelli garnered just 36 votes (15.8 percent).

McKee, who is seeking his first full term in office, emerged at the top of a crowded field of Democrat challengers that included Helena Buonanno Foulkes, Nellie Gorbea, Matt Brown and Luis Daniel Munoz.

As of the morning of Sept. 14, McKee had secured 32.8 percent of the vote to 30.1 percent for Buonanno Foulkes, with 98 percent of the polling locations reporting. Gorbea, the current secretary of state, was third with 26.1 percent, followed by Brown (7.9 percent) and Munoz (3.1 percent).

In Newport, Buonanno Foulkes edged McKee, securing 693 votes (35.9 percent), compared to McKee’s 562 votes (29.1 percent). Gorbea received 499 votes (25.8 percent).

Foulkes also finished ahead of McKee in Middletown, receiving 504 votes (40.6 percent), compared to 327 (26.3 percent) for McKee. Gorbea received 307 votes (24.7 percent).

On the Republican side, Kalus received 237 votes (85.6 percent) to Riccitelli’s 40 votes (14.4 percent).

Rep. Deb Ruggiero (D-Dist. 74, Jamestown, Middletown) had a strong showing against incumbent Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos in the Democrat primary, receiving 33.2 percent. However, Matos won the contest with 47 percent, while Cynthia Mendes finished third with 19.8 percent.

Ruggiero enjoyed an advantage on Aquidneck Island. She defeated Matos in Newport, 49.8 to 34.2 percent, and had a 62.5 to 25.6 percent advantage in Middletown.

Democrat Alex Finkelman will fill the vacated District 74 seat, as he is running unchallenged for the position.

In the Republican primary for lieutenant governor, Aaron Guckian rolled over Paul Pence, 67.8 to 32.2 percent.

In another crowded Democrat primary for the District 2 representative in Congress, Seth Magaziner emerged victorious with 54 percent of the vote, defeating David Segal, Sarah Morgenthau, Joy Fox, Omar Bah and Spencer Dickinson. He will face Republican Allan Fung, who was unchallenged.

Rep. Barbara Ann Fenton Fung (R-Dist.15, Cranston), Fung’s wife and a former Middletown resident, secured her seat with 92.5 percent of the vote against Suzanne Downing, who received only 7.5 percent.

Finally, Gregg Amore was victorious in the Democrat primary for secretary of state, defeating Stephanie Beaute. Amore will now face Republican Pat Cortellessa in November.

Heavy rains hit Aquidneck Island throughout much of the day of the primary. Tracy Nelson, Newport canvassing clerk, said it was still too early to tell if the adverse weather had an impact on turnout, but she said one Newport polling location experienced flooding.

“There was a brief period at Newport Public Library where water was getting into the building through the main entrance around back [in the parking lot],” she said. “It was run-off coming down the hill. However, the water did not make its way down to the ground floor program room where the voting was taking place.”

Nelson reported no major issues with the state’s new voting machines, and said no issues had arisen during the early voting period.

Those voting early in-person and via mail ballots were in fewer number than two years ago. In Newport, only 501 votes were cast via mail ballots and early voting in the Democrat primary for governor, while on the Republican side the number was only 45 votes.

All election results are unofficial until certified by the state Board of Elections.

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