PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — All 15 seats on the Providence City Council are up for grabs this fall, and 42 candidates are vying for a four-year term serving in the city’s legislative branch.
Seven council seats are open without an incumbent this year, after term limits kicked in for the very first time, prohibiting five current councilors from running for re-election. That includes Council President John Igliozzi, who has been on the council for a quarter-century.
Another two incumbents, Kat Kerwin, D-Ward 12, and Nirva LaFortune, D-Ward 3, are not running for re-election. (LaFortune is running for mayor instead.)
That leaves eight incumbents running for re-election, including three who are running unopposed, according to a list provided by the Providence Board of Canvassers after the filing deadline Wednesday night.
The seat with the most candidates is Ward 9, in the Elmwood and South Elmwood neighborhoods, with six candidates.
Candidates have until July 15 to submit 50 signatures on their nominating papers to make it on the ballot.
Only one Republican filed to run for City Council, but there are several independent candidates, some of whom are running with Republican support.
For most seats, the winner will be determined in the Democratic primary on Sept. 13. The general election is Nov. 8.
The election is utilizing the new ward maps approved by the City Council earlier this year.
Here are all the candidates running for Providence City Council:
Ward 1 (Fox Point, Wayland, downtown)
Incumbent John Goncalves, who succeeded Seth Yurdin in a special election in 2020, doesn’t have an opponent in the Democratic primary, but Angie Cespedes has filed to run in the general election as an independent.
July 25 update: Cespedes did not qualify for the ballot after failing to submit 50 signatures, according to the Secretary of State’s office.
Ward 2 (Blackstone, College Hill, Wayland)
Helen Anthony, who is finishing up her first term on the council, is running unopposed for re-election on the East Side. She currently sits on the Finance Committee.
Ward 3 (Mount Hope, Hope, Blackstone)
With incumbent Nirva LaFortune running for mayor, this East Side seat is wide open with three Democrats running: Susan Anderbois, Bradly VanDerStad and Corey Jones. Michael Fink has filed to run as an independent in the general election.
Ward 4 (Charles, Wanskuck)
Councilman Nicholas Narducci is term-limited after serving 16 years on the council. Four Democrats — Steven Carrera, Joseph Casoli, Stephen Napolitano and Justin Roias — have filed to run for the seat.
July 25 update: Carrera and Napolitano did not qualify for the ballot after failing to submit 50 signatures, according to the Secretary of State’s office.
Ward 5 (Mount Pleasant, Elmhurst, Manton)
Councilwoman Jo-Ann Ryan, the chair of the Finance Committee who has served two terms, is being challenged in the September primary by Democrat Jacqueline Goldman. Steven Cianci has filed to run as an independent in the general election. (Cianci is a distant cousin of the late Buddy Cianci.)
July 25 update: Cianci did not qualify for the ballot after failing to submit 50 signatures, according to the Secretary of State’s office.
Ward 6 (Manton, Mount Pleasant)
Councilman Michael Correia cannot run again due to term limits. There are two Democrats running in the primary: Miguel Sanchez and Joseph Giampietro.
Ward 7 (Silver Lake, Hartford)
This is the seat Council President John Igliozzi has held since 1997. He can’t run again due to term limits, and two Democrats filed to run in the primary: David Marshall and Ana Vargas.
Ward 8 (West End, Reservoir, South Elmwood)
Majority Leader James Taylor is unopposed in his bid for a second term. He first won the seat in 2018, when he unseated incumbent Wilbur Jennings.
Ward 9 (Elmwood, South Elmwood)
Six candidates filed to run for the open Ward 9 seat, which is being vacated by the term-limited Carmen Castillo. There are four Democrats in the primary: April Brown, Gerard Catala, former state Sen. Juan Pichardo and Miguel Quezada. Two independents, Diego Arene-Morley and Jose Perez Corporan, are also running in the general election.
Ward 10 (Lower South Providence, Washington Park)
Incumbent Pedro Espinal, the council’s president pro-tem, is seeking a full term after winning a special election in 2019 when Luis Aponte resigned. Espinal is being challenged by Natalia Rosa Sosa, another Democrat who ran in that special election.
Ward 11 (Upper South Providence, West End)
Democrat Mary Kay Harris is seeking a third term on the council, facing George Lindsey in the primary. Cedric Russell has filed to run as an independent in the general election.
Ward 12 (Smith Hill, Valley, downtown)
Councilor Kat Kerwin opted not to run for re-election after serving one term. There are five candidates to replace her, including four Democrats in the primary: Althea Graves, Steven Williamson, Joseph Cornwall and Belen Florez. Running as an independent is Seangsouk Keobouthanh.
July 25 update: Williamson did not qualify for the ballot after failing to submit 50 signatures, according to the Secretary of State’s office.
Ward 13 (Federal Hill, West End)
Democrat Rachel Miller is running unopposed for a second term on the City Council.
Ward 14 (Elmhurst, Wanskuck)
Incumbent Councilman David Salvatore is term-limited (and instead challenging state Sen. Sam Bell). The Democratic primary has three candidates: Patrick Griffin, Shelley Peterson and Andrew Poyant. Republican Ronald Iacobbo filed to run in the general election.
July 25 update: Iacobbo did not qualify for the ballot after failing to submit 50 signatures, according to the Secretary of State’s office.
Ward 15 (Olneyville, Silver Lake)
Democrat Oscar Vargas is seeking a full term after winning the seat in a special election last year to replace Sabina Matos, who left to be lieutenant governor. He is being challenged by Santos Javier, who also ran in the four-way special election.