EAST PROVIDENCE — Richard “Spunk, Spunky” Pimentel has opted against further pursuit of re-election to the East Providence School Committee, he informed The Post and eastbayri.com early this week.
Citing health concerns, Mr. Pimentel, who took ill in recent months, acknowledged he will not submit signatures from residents of Ward 3, the district he represented on the committee for the last two years, by the Friday, July 11 deadline.
“I just can’t do it. I’m not in good health. I’m sick. I wanted to run again, but I just can’t,” Mr. Pimentel said during a telephone conversation Monday morning, July 7. He had contacted The Post late the previous week indicating his announcement was forthcoming.
Mr. Pimentel’s decision not to submit the signatures after he had filed his papers to run for re-election by the June 25 deadline all but assures political newcomer Nate Cahoon will take over his spot on the School Committee from Ward 3. Mr. Cahoon, an employee of the federal government, was cleared on any conflicts with the Hatch Act, which restricts federal employees from running for certain elected offices.
Mr. Pimentel said while he is disappointed in not being able to run for re-election, he took some solace on the matter after recently meeting and talking with Mr. Cahoon.
“I like Nate. I like what he stands for,” Mr. Pimentel said. “He has my backing 100 percent and I hope those people who supported me the last time will support him this election.”
As for Mr. Pimentel, he will take the opportunity to fight his illness and spend more time with his family rather than running for what would be a second term on the Committee. He was elected unopposed in the 2012 cycle. He’s also grateful to those friends and acquaintances who have expressed concern about his condition.
“I just want to thank everybody for all the cards and well wishes they’ve sent me, all the people who have called asking me how I’m doing and for praying for me. It really means a lot. I can’t thank them enough,” Mr. Pimentel added.