With less than three months to the General Election, and less than a month to the Primary Election, What’s Up Newp begins its comprehensive coverage of not only elections in Newport County, but also key statewide legislative races.

Surveys were emailed to candidates in Newport County. We have received several responses, with still more coming in. If you are a candidate and have not received a questionnaire, please contact What’s Up Newp or Frank Prosnitz at frank.prosnitz@gmail.com.

We asked about political, professional and community background, about past accomplishments and issues the candidates hope to address during the next term.

Besides the candidates’ answers to our survey, we welcome press releases and op-ed pieces, as we make every effort to provide voters with information that will help them decide on whom they will support on election day. Candidates and those who support them can email Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.

Here we share an election profile for Hugo DeAscentis Jr., who is seeking election on Newport City Council At-Large Ward 1.

Hugo J. DeAscentis Jr.

Government/political history

Current office (if none, please note none. Please note when elected initially, ex: Town Council, 1964):

Currently None –  Former elected member of Newport School Committee serving 13 years.

Previous political/government elected offices held, and years:  

Former elected member of Newport School Committee serving a total of 13 years with last term ending December 2010.

Previous or current appointed government positions (including boards and commissions):

Interest in public office began after serving on Newport’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan (mid 1990’s)

Political Party Affiliation in 2020:

Unaffiliated (Newport elections are non partisan)

Previous political party affiliation if different from above:


Previous elective political positions sought, year and outcomes:

November 2018, unsuccessful run for Newport City Council at large

If applicable: As an incumbent, I am most proud of:

Not presently an incumbent but very proud of all the past work accomplished with my fellow members of the Newport School Committee.    

If elected my three top goals are:

  1. Keeping Newport citizens aware of all planning and resulting decisions regarding activities within the City of Newport.  Promote citizen awareness and involvement in “their” local government.
  2. Keep Newport small, manageable, desirable, and affordable.
  3. Ensuring that the City of Newport is able to continually and fully operate given the severe challenges of COVID19.

                               Employment and Education

My current employment, including title, is:

Retired after a 40 year career testing, analyzing, and providing safe public drinking water

Schools and degrees:

Attended Newport Public School K-12

1972 graduate Newport’s Rogers High School

1976 Graduate University of Rhode Island double concentration Biology/Psychology

Certified RIDOH Full Level 4 Treatment Operator license

Certified RIDOH Full Level 4 Distribution Operator license

Certified RIDOH Level 2 Assessor (drinking water operations review)

Professional organizations, please not leadership positions:

Current member of various professional water industry organizations

Past member of various professional School Board Associations

Awards of recognitions associated with work:

Lifetime member AWWA


Non-profit community organization affiliations and any leadership positions;

Past president Coggeshall Elementary School PTO

Past Newport recreation department youth soccer coach

Past Newport Little League Team Manager

Awards of recognitions associated with volunteer work:


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Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. Although not the founder or original owner, Belmore has been with What'sUpNewp since its early beginnings in 2012.

Belmore was born in Providence, Rhode Island; grew up and graduated high school in Coventry, Rhode Island; and lived in Newport, Rhode Island for more than ten years. He 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 and his wife, Jen, as well as their two dogs (Aero and June), recently moved to Alexandria, Virginia. Belmore travels back and forth to Newport every couple of weeks to cover events, work on story ideas, to meet with What'sUpNewp's on-the-ground contributors, to visit friends, and to eat as much seafood as possible.

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