PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The votes are now being tallied in special elections held Tuesday in parts of Rhode Island and mayoral elections in Southeastern Massachusetts.
Polling places closed at 8 p.m.
12 News is Your Local Election Headquarters. Stay with us throughout the day for in-depth coverage on air and online, including real-time results once the polls close.
Rhode Islanders who live in the state’s 1st Congressional District chose Democrat Gabe Amo to head to Washington, D.C., to finish out David Cicilline’s term in the House of Representatives. The district covers the eastern part of the state, including part of Providence County and all of Newport and Bristol counties.
Amo defeated Republican Gerry Leonard. Both candidates made stops at polling locations and stressed how important it is for people to go out and vote.
WATCH: Election Night Q&A with analyst Joe Fleming (Story continues below.)
With the win, Amo becomes the first person of color to represent Rhode Island in Congress.
“It’s so important to get out and vote today,” Amo said. “I know that people are taking this as a foregone conclusion in some ways. There is no stone left unturned for our campaign.”
While the 1st Congressional District is historically blue, Leonard hoped to flip the seat to red.
“We are traveling around the state,” he said. “We started this morning at a diner in Woonsocket, Main Street Cafe, had a great breakfast then off to Woonsocket High School, been in Cumberland, now we’re down in Lincoln, we’ll move down to Providence and then along the East Bay.”
WATCH: RI Congressional candidates give their thoughts on Election Day (Story continues below.)
As of 7 p.m. Tuesday, nearly 72,000 Rhode Islanders had cast their ballots in person or through the mail, according to the state’s voter turnout tracker.
Voters in 10 cities and towns decided whether to approve or deny bond referendums, most of which involved funding school renovations and other projects. In total, more than $1 billion in proposed borrowing was on the table.
A special election was also held in Rhode Island Senate District 1 in Providence, following the death of Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin in April. Democrat Jake Bissaillon defeated Republican Niyoka Powell.
Attleboro Mayor Cathleen DeSimone ran unopposed.
WATCH: Massachusetts candidates give their thoughts on Election Day