Editor’s note: Two weeks after this report was originally published, Iasha Hall failed to submit the required 50 signatures to qualify for the ballot, bringing the number of candidates down to four.

PROVIDENCE, R.I (WPRI) — Voters in the Providence neighborhoods of Olneyville, Valley and part of Silver Lake will head to the polls on June 8 for a special election primary.

There are five Democrats running for the Providence City Council Ward 15 seat — and no Republicans or independents — which means the winner of the June 8 primary will be the only candidate on the ballot for the July 6 general election.

The seat was vacated by former Council President Sabina Matos last month after she was appointed by Gov. Dan McKee to be lieutenant governor. Matos had held the seat for a decade and was slated to be term-limited next year.

The candidates for the seat are Doris De Los Santos, Iasha Hall, Casandra Inez, Santos Javier and Oscar Vargas.

The voter registration deadline for the primary is this Sunday, May 9. Voters can send in a mail ballot application until May 18, or can vote in person. The polling locations have not yet been set.

In the video interviews below, the candidates answer questions on what they hope to accomplish if elected, their views on charter schools, the city’s finances, the 6-10 connector project and other important issues facing Ward 15 and the city.

Watch the full episode Pulse of Providence in the video above or listen to the audio here or where you get your podcasts.


The candidates are listed in alphabetical order.

Skip to a candidate: Doris De Los Santos » | Iasha Hall » | Casandra Inez » | Santos Javier » | Oscar Vargas »

Doris De Los Santos

Age: 49
Occupation: On leave of absence from Providence City Council staff
Party: Democrat
Years living in Ward 15: 20 years
Neighborhood: Silver Lake

Casandra Inez

Age: 31
Occupation: Teacher at Mount Pleasant High School
Party: Democrat
Years living in Ward 15: 10 years
Neighborhood: Olneyville

Santos Javier

Age: 43
Occupation: Self-employed courier
Party: Democrat
Years living in Ward 15: 25 years
Neighborhood: Olneyville

Oscar Vargas

Age: 50
Occupation: Legislative aide for R.I. Senate; owner of Vargas Auto Glass
Party: Democrat
Years living in Ward 15: 20 years
Neighborhood: Silver Lake

Iasha Hall

Age: 52
Occupation: Seeking employment; former eligibility technician at R.I. Dept. of Human Services
Party: Democrat
Years living in Ward 15: 8 years
Neighborhood: Olneyville

Steph Machado (smachado@wpri.com) is a Target 12 investigative reporter covering Providence, politics and more for 12 News. Connect with her on Twitter and on Facebook.