Town Council, School Committee election results

Kaelib Courtwright, Sports Editor

The results from election day are in, and the North Kingstown Town Council and School Committee have a mix of incumbent returns along with new member entrances. 

For the Town Council, two candidates who were unendorsed gained seats. Current president Greg Mancini and Katherine Anderson, both Democrats, were elected. Former School Committee chairwoman Kimberly Page, a Democrat, was also elected. Incumbents Kerry McKay and Mary Brimer, both Republicans, are returning.

For the School Committee, a newcomer was able to secure the position, with Democrat Jennifer Lima beating out incumbent Robert Jones, a Republican. Incumbents Jennifer Hoskins, a Democrat, and Jacob Mather, also a Democrat, return to the School Committee. They will join Gregory Blasbalg and Lisa Hildebrand, both Democrats chosen in the 2018 election. As a result of this election, the School Committee consists entirely of Democrats.

One of the biggest surprises throughout this election was the Democratic Town Committee’s call not to endorse Mancini. He was the top vote-getter in 2018, and thus the Town Council president. This lack of an endorsement did not stop Mancini, as he was once again the leading candidate, being the only candidate to earn over 8,500 votes. This total was far larger than his total of 6,543 he received in 2018. “I was surprised that the Democratic Party did not endorse Mancini,” said senior Jonah Ellis, who identifies as a Democrat. “Since he was the president and leading vote-getter, you would think he would be an obvious choice to nominate.” 

Mancini was not the only unendorsed Democratic candidate to win, as Katherine Anderson also earned a spot on the Town Council. “I’m not sure why the Democratic Party nominated the people that they did,” said senior Carson Zell. “If you nominate four candidates and only one is selected, that’s a pretty poor success rate.” Kim Page was the only endorsed candidate to gain a seat on the council. 

For the School Committee, there was competition for the spot, unlike in 2018, where Blasbalg and Hildebrand ran unopposed. “I remember when the candidates visited us in 2018,” said Ellis. “It seems odd to me that they made an appearance, considering they did not have any competition.” This time, an incumbent lost his spot to a new candidate. In fact, new candidate Jennifer Lima received 8,650 votes, the most in either election. 

For both bodies, there is an infusion of new blood, with at least one newcomer entering both. However, both still have many returning candidates that will surely provide valuable experience for the new members. It will be intriguing to see if the election in 2022 can shake things up in a similar manner.