Update: Martin, Wray, Jones Out Of Local Races
Paul Martin says he needs to overcome health problems, doesn’t count out a run for town office in two years.
Town Canvasser Elaine Vespia confirmed Monday morning two candidates for local office – Paul Martin (School Committee) and Tony Jones (Town Moderator) did not submit signatures to get on the ballot in November. A third candidate, Bill Wray (School Committee) has withdrawn.
A story posted here yesterday had initially relied on information the R.I. Secretary of State's website, which had not been updated to reflect signatures received beyond Wednesday. Friday was the deadline for candidates to submit signatures.
Martin, a Republican, said Monday he is dropping out of the race because of ongoing health problems. He suffered a stroke two years ago and said he’s gained weight since then and had other health issues.
Republican Bill Wray did submit enough signatures, but has withdrawn from the race for School Committee. He had not submitted declaration of candidacy papers but rather was endorsed to run by the town GOP after declaration papers were due. Wray is chief operating officier of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island.
Tony Jones, a Libertarian, also did not submit signatures to earn a place on the November ballot. Jones was running for town moderator. The only candidate for that position remains incumbent James Patti, a Republican.
Reached Monday afternoon, Jones said he wasn't prepared for the amount of work involved in running and did not have enough time to gather the needed 50 signatures.
"As it was my first time doing this I simply did not plan properly (time-wise) for the process to get on the ballot. Lesson learned. See you in 2014," he wrote in an email. He did say he had a lot to offer the town and would look to be appointed to a board in the meantime.
Canvasser Vespia confirmed that, despite what the R.I. Secretary of State’s website stated Sunday, candidates Brian Warburton, a Democrat, and Domenic Marcone, an independent, did in fact submit the requisite 50 signatures, so both will be on the ballot.
That means there will be a Democratic primary for School Committee. In addition to Warburton, incumbent Deidre Gifford, Carolyn Mark, and Gene Quinn are all in the race for School Committee. There are only three open seats.
On the Republican side, only one candidate for School Committee remains, Clark Smith.
Martin has served on the EG School Committee for 10 of the past 12 years. Although he is a incumbent Republican, he was not endorsed by the EG Republican Town Committee. EG GOP chair Chuck Newton cited Martin’s frequent absences from School Committee meetings as a reason he was not endorsed.
Martin said he’s interested in talking with all the candidates for School Committee regardless of party and making his own endorsements based on those interviews.
In the Town Council race, all five Republican candidates – Brad Bishop and incumbents Michael Isaacs, Jeff Cianciolo, Mark Gee, and Mike Kiernan – turned in enough signatures to be placed on the ballot. Moderate Jean Ann Guliano also earned a place on the ballot for Town Council. No Democrats are in the running for Town Council.
The primary election will be Sept. 11; the general election is Nov. 6.
This story was added to at 5:35 p.m., July 16, 2012.