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At least one seat on Newport City Council will go unopposed come November after all. Peter Harty, who announced back in June that he would be running for the Ward 3 seat, has confirmed with What’sUpNewp that he has withdrawn from the race.

Update: July 10th – Peter Harty withdraws from Ward 3 Newport City Council race

“I withdrew from the race. Professional opportunity fell on my lap last Thursday and the scope of work is massive – an enterprise-wide transformation for a Rhode Island based healthcare company; Long hours with a long commute made my decision to cease the run.  I could not focus on the campaign effort and satisfy the requirements of job,” Hartly emailed What’sUpNewp on Tuesday afternoon.

Harty had announced on June 27th that he declared his candidacy at City Hall for the Ward 3 race. At that time, Harty said his interest in serving on the Newport City Council “is to address issues of community and economic development such as housing affordability, gentrification and diversifying our seasonal hospitality centric industry into a 21st-century year-round economy,”

Harty would have faced off against incumbent Kathryn Leonard in November. Leonard will now go unopposed in the race for Ward 3.

“An opportunity like this is extremely rare and the fact it presented itself in RI makes even more for a mid career professional such as myself. My plan over the next year is to engage in my ward to get name recognition and continue with local non-profits providing on-the-ground impact in our community”, Harty said in regards to dropping out of the race for Ward 3.

Seven candidates have declared their candidacy for the four current council seats, three candidates are running for the Ward 2 seat, and two candidates are running for the Ward 1 seat. The numbers of candidates running in each race could change if candidates fail to get the required signatures needed or drop out.

“I hope to run for council in the next round,” Harty told What’sUpNewp.

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.