Voters go to polls to select new congressman, school bond measures

FROM LEFT, Republican candidate Gerry W. Leonard Jr. and Democratic candidate Gabe Amo are now at the mercy of voters in the state's 1st Congressional District choosing who their next congressman will be on Tuesday. / COURTESY GERRY W. LEONARD JR. AND GABE AMO
FROM LEFT, Republican candidate Gerry W. Leonard Jr. and Democratic candidate Gabe Amo are now at the mercy of voters in the state's 1st Congressional District choosing who their next congressman will be on Tuesday. / COURTESY GERRY W. LEONARD JR. AND GABE AMO

PROVIDENCE – Voters on Tuesday are going to the polls to either elect a new congressman to represent Rhode Island in the U.S. House or decide on a bond referendum for new school buildings in their respective communities – or both. Plus, some voters have already cast their ballots well in advance of Tuesday’s special general election.

As of 10:20 a.m. Tuesday, 30,819 people went to the polls to cast their respective ballots with 15,904 individuals voting early, according to the state’s voter turnout tracker. That accounts for 7.6% of the voter turnout. Of that, 5,996 sent in mail ballots.

North Kingstown had the highest turnout as of 10:20 a.m. at 3,123, while East Providence was next at 2,346. Providence had 2,280 people go to the polls to vote, while Middletown had 2,085 in total vote.

Democratic candidate Gabe Amo, a former White House staffer, and Republican candidate Gerry W. Leonard Jr., a former U.S. Marine, are now at the mercy of voters residing in the 1st Congressional District each hoping to succeed David N. Cicilline in Washington, D.C. Cicilline resigned from office back in the spring to become the Rhode Island Foundation’s new CEO and president.

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Amo won his respective primary election back in September against a loaded Democratic field, a race that had multiple candidates mired in various controversies during – and impacting – their campaigns. Leonard, the Rhode Island Republican Party’s endorsed candidate, meanwhile, won his primary over former Middletown town councilor Terri Flynn two months ago.

Both Amo and Leonard late last week squared off in a debate hosted by WPRI-TV CBS 12 on topics ranging from the conflict in Gaza to abortion to gun control and term limits on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Also, seven communities across Rhode Island on Tuesday, including North Kingstown, Barrington, East Greenwich and Cumberland, are also deciding on more than $1 billion worth of bonds for new school buildings and/or repairs to existing buildings.

James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at Bessette@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.

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