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Middletown’s 2020 class of political candidates is crowded, with 17 individuals qualifying to run for seven Town Council seats, and five for the two School Committee positions that are up for election this year.

At a time of great indecision and divisiveness, a major worldwide health crisis and a Black Lives Movement, individuals are looking to elections to make significant changes in how our systems operate. 

Add to that emotional local issues over the future of school facilities, the economic balance on Aquidneck Island, and more and you bring out a wide variety of individuals who hope to become part of shaping the future. And so it is in Middletown.

Yesterday was the deadline for candidates who had previously declared they were running to submit their nomination papers, meeting minimum signature requirements. In Middletown it appears that one potential school committee candidate, David Huntoon, and one potential council candidate, Morris Hirsch, did not return papers.

Candidates returned papers to their local Boards of Canvassers, which in turn reported those filing to the Secretary of State, where the filings were posted. 

All seven Town Council positions are up for election this year in Middletown, with one councilor, Henry F. Lombardi, Jr., not filing for reelection. The other incumbents – Terri Flynn, Robert Sylvia, Paul Rodrigues, Barbara VanVillas, Dennis Turano, and Theresa Santos – all submitted their nomination papers.

Others who filed and submitted sufficient qualified signatures were Antone Viveiros, Arthur S. Weber, Audrey J. MacLeod-Pfeiffer, Christopher Logan, Daniel Titus, Gregory Huet, James Miller, Jason Evans, Kathleen Ventura, Lawrence Frank, Thomas Heaney Jr., and Thomas Welch III.

There are five candidates that have qualified to run for the two open seats on the School Committee, including incumbent William O’Connell. Also qualifying were Cynthia Perry, Frances Marie Connelly Moldveen, Tami Holden, and Vanessa Ellerman.

The next date to watch for local elections is Monday, July 13, when local candidates can file to withdraw from the election. State candidates have until July 17 to file for withdrawal.

Clarification: Add Jim Miller to Middletown Town Council Election.

The race for Middletown Town Council is now at 18, with Jim Miller joining the race. Actually, he was there when we looked at the candidates listed on the Secretary of State’s listing yesterday – we just missed it. Jim joins 17 others in what is a very crowded field for the seven Town Council seats.