PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Democrat John Goncalves has won the special election to fill the open seat on the Providence City Council, in a race that was delayed for two months because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Goncalves, the only person on the ballot, received 361 votes, according to the Providence Board of Canvassers. There were eight write-in votes cast.
The residents of Ward 1 — which includes parts of the East Side and downtown Providence — have been without representation since January, when Democrat Seth Yurdin resigned the seat. Goncalves won a three-way primary in March, all but securing the post because there were no Republicans or independents running, but the April 7 general election was delayed out of concerns about the virus spreading at the polls.
The results from Tuesday’s race took longer than than usual to tabulate because of the primarily mail ballot election.
In a statement, Goncalves said he was “excited to get to work” on the council, but also noted it was a “bittersweet” day because of the national mourning of the death of George Floyd.
“As a resident of Ward 1 for over 25 years, an educator, a person of color and also someone who lived in Minneapolis for several years and has personal connections to the city, Mayor Frey, AG Ellison, and Councilman Fletcher, I find myself deeply saddened by the murder of George Floyd, and the recent events in Minneapolis and our world,” Goncalves said.
“In the midst of these extraordinary and unprecedented times, I’m more focused than ever on seeking solutions to strengthen our community, working collaboratively with fellow council members, Mayor Elorza, and the city administration.”
It was not immediately clear when Goncalves would be sworn in.