Updated: Candidate filing period in East Providence ends, six seats have no race

Four Assembly incumbents, two School Committee members will be unopposed

By Mike Rego
Posted 6/26/24

EAST PROVIDENCE — The third and final day of the 2024 candidate filing period in East Providence, Wednesday, June 26, came and went with exactly half of the 12 offices in the city being …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Register to post events

If you'd like to post an event to our calendar, you can create a free account by clicking here.

Note that free accounts do not have access to our subscriber-only content.

Day pass subscribers

Are you a day pass subscriber who needs to log in? Click here to continue.

Updated: Candidate filing period in East Providence ends, six seats have no race

Four Assembly incumbents, two School Committee members will be unopposed


EAST PROVIDENCE — The third and final day of the 2024 candidate filing period in East Providence, Wednesday, June 26, came and went with exactly half of the 12 offices in the city being uncontested, and with two of those remaining likewise going unopposed at the November General Election.

Only three of the five School Committee seats have races as do just three of the seven positions from the city in the Rhode Island General Assembly.

And one of those in the State Senate and one in the House will be decided at the Democratic Primary Election in September as neither saw a Republican file the paperwork required.

Only the District 66 House seat, based mostly in Barrington with a small portion of Riverside included, has a true, two-party race as one-term Democratic incumbent Jen Boylan is being challenged by Republican Janine Wolf. That race will move directly to November if both meet the necessary requirements.

Those include each of the candidates seeking office needing to pick up nomination papers on July 2, which must then be signed by a certain amount of registered voters in their locations and depending on office sought — 50 for wards in School Committee and state rep districts, 100 for state senate districts and 200 for in-city At-Large.

Said papers must then be returned to the East Providence and associated canvassing departments by July 12 and be certified before their names will formally placed on a ballot.

Full Day 3 recap

As for the goings-on June 26, Charlie Tsonos, after announcing his intentions via social media and a press release some two weeks prior, formally dropped his papers to challenge incumbent Ryan Queenan for the Ward 1 School Committee. Tsonos served five terms in the seat before being upset by political newcomer Queenan at the 2022 election.

Antonio DiSimas, who previously ran and lost in 2022 against incumbent Brianna Henries for the District 64 State Representative seat based mostly in the center of the city, filed to challenge two-term incumbent Max Brandle to be the Ward 2 School Committee member.

As for the General Assembly races, Majority Whip and three-term incumbent Val Lawson is being challenged by long-time political operative Brian Coogan for the Democratic nomination to the State Senate District 14 seat comprised of East Providence and a portion of Pawtucket. Coogan previously served as a State Representative and a City Council in EP.

The other Senate Democratic incumbents representing the city — Bob Britto, in District 18 (East Providence, Pawtucket) and Pam Lauria in District 32 (East Providence, Bristol and Barrington) — are neither challenged within the party or by a Republican opponent.

The same is said for three House members who represent the city. Six-term incumbent and Majority Whip Katherine Kazarian (D-Dist. 63, East Providence, Pawtucket) along with first-termer Matt Dawson (D-Dist. 65, East Providence) will each go unchallenged in 2024.

Henries, of the Democratic progressive caucus and who previously stated she would run for re-election, did not actually file last Wednesday after four years representing District 64 (East Providence, Pawtucket) in the House of Representatives. Instead, Jenni Furtado and Ashley Pereira have filed to challenge for the Democratic nomination.

Furtado, nèe Azanero, has served the last four years as the Ward 3 member of the School Committee. Pereira also challenged and lost to Henries in 2022. According to a report on the Rhode Island Current news website, she was fined by the Rhode Island Board of Elections for misappropriating campaign funds during that campaign.

The story, dated March 7, 2024, read in part that Pereira "agreed to pay a $1,500 fine by July 1," according to a consent agreement reached between her and the Board, an audit conducted by which found she had spent some $350 from her campaign account for personal use. In addition, she did not report a $1,700 loan to support her campaign and she also exceeded the $25 limit on cash donations by accepting two over $100 each "among other offenses."

As for the US Congress, Democrat Gabriel Amo, who won a special election last fall to replace retired David Cicilline for Rhode Island House District 1, will be challenged in the primary by Eddy Medrano. And on the Republican side, Jeffrey Lemire and Allen Waters will vie in the GOP primary.

The Senate race will also have primaries. Three term Democratic incumbent Sheldon Whitehouse will be challenged in September by Michael Costa while Raymond McKay and Patricia Morgan are running for the Republican nomination.

Day 2 recap

The second day of the candidate filing period in East Providence for the 2024 election saw three incumbent School Committee member show their intention to run for re-election.

Jessica Beauchaine, Max Brandle and Tony Ferreira submitted their papers on Tuesday, June 25.

Beauchaine's filing sets up a match-up against Chrissy Rossi for the Ward 4 Committee seat. The two were once allies, but now will be in opposition come the fall. Beauchaine is seeking a sixth term as the rep from the Riverside district.

Brandle, who coincidentally upset then-seat incumbent Ferreira at the 2020 election, is seeking a third term as the Ward 2 representative from the center of the city.

Ferreira returned to the Committee in the At-Large seat after defeating neophyte candidate Miles Bonalewicz in 2022 by some 1,400 votes or 54.8-44.%. Before falling to Brandle, Ferreira had served four terms in the Ward 2 seat.

Day 1 recap

Day 1 of the three-day candidate declaration period, Monday, June 24, for the upcoming 2024 election cycle in East Providence closed with just three office seekers having officially submitted the paperwork initially required.

And each of the trio who made their intentions known — Ryan Queenan, David Luiz and Chrissy Rossi — are seeking spots on the East Providence School Committee.

All candidates seeking office at the 2024 election must submit their campaign papers to the East Providence Canvassing Office by the close of business on June 26. They must next pick up nomination papers requiring the signatures of a certain amount of registered voters, depending on office sought, on July 2. Said papers must then be returned to Canvassing by July 12.

A primary election, if needed for seats with three or more candidates, takes place on September 10. The 2024 General Election takes place on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Elections this cycle locally include state representative and state senate, school committee and ward committees.

Ward 1 notes

There is expected to at least be a rematch for the Ward 1 School Committee seat as both the incumbent Queenan along with his predecessor and once-again challenger Charlie Tsonos recently authored press releases announcing their intentions to take part in the 2024 election.

Queenan, as previously mentioned, formally provided his papers to the Canvassing Office Monday. He is seeking a second term representing the district, made up mostly of residents in the Rumford section of the city as well as those on Broadway to the Sutton Avenue area.

Queenan wrote in his announcement, “Over the past term, I have been able to build relationships within our community, including families and residents, members in our unions, teachers, school district administration, and our other respected leaders holding elected office.

"Through these relationship I have been able to continue to advocate for our students and teachers by working with our city officials for increased funding allocation, providing a voice to our student body in policy awareness and creation, and acting as Chairman of the districts Health and Wellness Committee.

"My continued efforts to work with our district leadership has brought critical attention to our budget and the fiscal responsible that is needed to continue to push our district forward. It is with a consistent willingness for open communication and continued learning, that I graciously announce that I will be seeking re-election for the Ward 1 School Committee.”

Tsonos has announced his third run for the Committee. He was initially elected to the body in 2010. He stepped away in 2012 for an ill-fated attempt to earn the Democratic nomination for the State House of Representatives District 63 seat won then and still held by Katherine Kazarian.

Tsonos returned the Committee up the 2014 election, serving through the election of 2022 when Queenan won the seat by a margin of 54.0%-44.7% (2,091-1,730 votes).

Tsonos submitted the following statement announcing his 2024 candidacy the first week of June:

"As we observe the 80th Anniversary of DDay and the sacrifices made by young Americans on foreign soil, we recognize how important freedom of speech is in this country.

"Denying freedom of speech takes many forms. Some forms are subtle. The media does not question the establishment. Vague answers are accepted. Misinformation occurs.

"The EP School Department has a $100 Million budget. I believe transparency and accountability are crucial. We have a new High School which still has a punch list.

"I do not feel that meetings are open or communicative.

"For these reasons and others, I will be declaring as a candidate for Ward 1 School Committee."

More Committee notes

As for the two other candidates, Luiz is making a second run at the Ward 3 Committee seat being vacated by Jenni Furtado, who previously stated her intention to run for the State Representative District 64 seat for East Providence currently held by two-term incumbent Briana Henries.

Furtado, running at the time under her maiden name Azanero, defeated Luiz at the 2022 election 1,904-1,360 or 58.0-41.4%.

Rossi is attempting to make a return to the Committee and the Ward 4 seat she held for one term, running two years from 2010, before opting for a run for the Ward 4 City Council seat in 2012. She won that race uncontested, but lost her re-election race in 2014.

She last ran for public office in 2020, falling to incumbent Joel Monteiro for the At-Large School Committee seat, 10,465-9,395 or 52.3-46.9%.

Other Day 1 notes

Over two dozen candidates also officially submitted their paperwork seeking either election or re-election to one of the four Democratic ward committees around the city.

A total of 15 candidates will be chosen from each area.

2024 by East Bay Media Group

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.