The Republicans have retained a 5-4 majority on Cranston’s City Council, winning Wards 4, 5, and 6, as well as two of the Citywide seats.
The top vote getter in the Citywide race was a Democrat, however, as Steve Stycos, the current Ward 1 Councilman, received 12, 678 votes, ahead of the two Republican winners, current Council President Michael Farina’s 12, 387 and current Citywide Councilman Ken Hopkins’ 10, 819. Democrat Sarah Lee garnered 10, 362, Gail Harvey got 10, 182, and Republican Amy Ricci garnered 9, 738, as of press time Tuesday night.
“It’s very flattering,” Stycos said after the win. “I’ve been around a while and you see that the people who won were the incumbents.”
On Election Night, the Republicans packed the house at The Thirsty Beaver on Atwood Avenue awaiting the results with family, friends and supporters, while the Democrats filled up their headquarters at the old Benny’s location just down the road on Atwood Avenue.
As the numbers were being run at the Thirsty Beaver, the room erupted after Ed Brady Ward 4 and Mike Favicchio Ward 6 were named the winners.
The Republican slate to be inaugurated will be Farina, Hopkins, Brady, Ward 5’s Chris Paplauskas, and Favicchio.
The Democrats who won were Stycos, Ward 1’s Lammis Vargas, Ward 2’s unopposed Paul McAuley, and Ward 3’s John Donegan.
Vargas won Ward 1 3,688 – Chris Sparks’ 1,169. In Ward 3, Donegan beat Derik Tutt 2,103 – 1,025. In Ward 4, Brady beat Tom Cappalli 3,765 – 2,314. And in Ward 6, Favicchio beat Stephen Tranghese 2,650 – 1,865.
“This proves that if you walk and work your tail off, people respond,” Donegan said after his win.
Farina was comfortable predicting a Republican majority for another term.
“We have balanced budgets, a good relationship with the school Department, roads are getting fixed, crime is down, people are happy with their city,” he said.
Stycos said after that he expects his relationship with the Republicans to be “similar” to what it is now, as they have remained the same Citywide. He said he wants to do the rule change of putting two minority members on every committee, and despite their differences he “hopes” they can each support each other’s proposals when they’re “reasonable.”
Paplauskas from Ward 5 was the only guaranteed Republican to retain his seat, as he is running unopposed.
“Even without an opponent, I was out there campaigning,” Paplauskas said. “I wanted the voters in Ward 5 to know I appreciate them and the opportunities they have given me, and will continue to work hard for them and the City.”
Chris Buonanno, chairman of the Cranston Republican party was very optimistic about the election.
“I feel really good about the races we ran,” he said. “We have a superior team, and it will show in the numbers. I would have liked to have seen a full slate of Republicans, but when Paul MaCauley showed up to the appointment of Ed Brady, I knew we would be able to have a good working relationship with him. His heart is in the right place, he cares about the City. Moving forward, we will be hashtag - teamcranston, not Republicans,” said Buonanno.
Cranston Democratic party chairman Mike Sepe said after learning of the results that he was happy, though he thought they may have had a chance in Ward 6, where incumbent Republican Michael Favicchio beat out Democratic challenger Stephen Tranghese by roughly 800 votes.
And now that Mayor Allan Fung will be returning for another term, Sepe is now looking to the 2020 Mayoral race. He said he could see Stycos as a potential candidate, but that he also saw Vargas and Donegan do well in their Wards and could see them also.
In the two school committee races that had two candidates, Sara Tindall-Woodman beat Michael Baer 2,695 – 1,446 in Ward 1 and Paul Archetto beat incumbent Domenic Fusco 1,592 – 1,236 in Ward 3.