Metro

Elorza wins Democratic mayoral nomination

Republican Daniel Harrop ’76 MD’79, Independent Buddy Cianci also on ballot

By and
Senior Staff Writer and Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Former Democratic mayoral candidate Brett Smiley endorsed Housing Court Judge Jorge Elorza, above, after dropping out of the race.

Former Housing Court Judge Jorge Elorza beat out City Council President Michael Solomon with 49 percent of the vote in a tight Democratic mayoral primary Tuesday night. Chris Young received 5 percent of the vote, while Brett Smiley — who dropped out of the race in August — received 3 percent.

Elorza will face Republican Daniel Harrop ’76 MD’79 and Independent Buddy Cianci in the general election. Cianci previously served as mayor of Providence from 1975 to 1984 and again from 1991 to 2002, resigning both times following criminal charges.

Cianci’s late entry into the race in June sparked a flurry of speculation among voters and motivated Democratic candidates to strategize in order to avoid splitting the vote in Cianci’s favor during the general election. Brett Smiley dropped out of the race, endorsing Elorza in hopes that the Elorza campaign would present a strong challenge to Cianci during the general election, the Smiley campaign wrote in a press release.

Nellie Gorbea captured the Democratic nomination for Rhode Island Secretary of State over Guillaume de Ramel. Gorbea will compete with Republican John Carlevale in the general election.

Following Gina Raimondo’s decision to leave office as General Treasurer and run for governor, two Democrats — Frank Caprio and Seth Magaziner ’06 — campaigned for the office. Thirty minutes after the polls closed, Caprio ceded the nomination to Magaziner, the Providence Journal reported.

Before the polls opened, a WPRI survey found that Magaziner led with 42.7 percent of the vote while only 30 percent of voters were in favor of Caprio. Magaziner will face the uncontested Independent Ernest Almonte in the general elections.

Incumbent U.S. Representative David Cicilline, D-R.I., won the nomination for his seat over Matt Fecteau, while Cormick Lynch won the Republican nomination for the seat over Stan Tran.

Voting booths at Hope High School received 500 to 600 voters on the day of the primary, said Alfred Grimes, the location’s official election  supervisor. The booths at Salomon Center saw very little voter traffic ­— most of the turnout came from Brown students registered to vote in Rhode Island. At Vartan Gregorian Elementary, people held signs supporting candidates as voters entered the polling site. Voters expressed satisfaction with the ease of voting and the lack of lines around mid-morning.

“I voted for the one who I thought had the best chance of keeping Buddy out,” said Don Keefer, a Rhode Island citizen, as he exited the voting booths at Hope High School, adding that he cast his vote for Elorza.

Many voters leaving Salomon said they came to the polls to support specific issues like same-sex marriage and specific candidates like Stan Tran.

“I definitely am not wholly satisfied with state representation, but I don’t feel informed enough to be overly critical,” said Tom Baker ’15.5. Other students expressed similar sentiments.

Brian Murphy ’15, a Rhode Island resident, said he voted for Clay Pell. “I voted for Clay Pell because I agree with his education reform plans,” he said.

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