Three Democrats vie for Providence Ward 1 special election


From left: John Goncalves, Anthony Santurri, Nick Cicchitelli (photos provided by candidates)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The stage is officially set for the special election to represent Providence’s Ward 1 on the City Council, where three Democrats — and no Republicans — have filed to run.

Democrats Nick Cicchitelli, John Goncalves and Anthony Santurri all submitted paperwork to the Providence Board of Canvassers ahead of the deadline Friday afternoon.

The three will square off in a primary on March 3. Without any Republicans or independents in the race, the winner of the primary will be the only name on the ballot for the general election April 7.

The influential seat became vacant earlier this month when longtime Councilman Seth Yurdin, also a Democrat, resigned to focus on his law practice and intellectual property business.

Cicchitelli, 34, works in real estate management and is the president of the Fox Point Neighborhood Association. He also serves on the board of the American Red Cross.

Goncalves, 28, teaches at the Wheeler School and co-founded the Providence Coalition of Neighborhood Associations. He was recently appointed by City Council President Sabina Matos to a special commission to study a possible progressive tax structure in Providence.

Santurri, 60, owns the Colosseum nightclub and Free Play Bar & Arcade in downtown Providence. He also co-founded the Providence Coalition of Neighborhood Associations and is a member of Rhode Island Pride. He recently participated in a nightlife safety working group convened by Matos.

Santurri lives in the downtown section of the ward, while Cicchitelli and Goncalves live in Fox Point.

The ward traverses multiple neighborhoods — including Fox Point, Wayland, the Jewelry District and downtown — and is split by the Providence River.

It emcompasses much of the former I-195 land, including the site of the proposed Fane Tower, and also includes Kennedy Plaza, much of the downtown nightlife area and a large swath of waterfront along India Point Park.

The winner of the special election will serve out the rest of Yurdin’s term, which is up at the end of 2022, and would be eligible to run and serve for two more terms after that.

Next week on A closer look at where the candidates stand on the key issues in Ward 1.

Steph Machado ( covers Providence, politics and more for WPRI 12. Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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