Democrat Jim Seveney and Republican John Pagliarni Jr. came out on top in a special primary election Tuesday for a vacant seat in the Rhode Island state Senate. Seven candidates were in the running for the District 11 seat.
Seveney easily repulsed his main opponent on the Democratic side of the primary, former State Rep. Amy Rice. Unofficial partial results show Seveney received 693 votes, or 68 percent of the Democratic tally, compared with 204 votes, or 20 percent, for Rice. Brett Pelletier lagged behind on the Democratic side with 115 votes.
Among Republicans, Pagliarini received 256 votes, or 51 percent, followed by 161 tallies for Kenneth Mendonca, and 85 for Joan Chabot.
The Senate opening was created when Christopher Ottiano of Portsmouth stepped down in October to take a new job. Ottiano was one of just five Republicans in the 38-member Senate.
Three Republicans, three Democrats and an independent ran to succeed Ottiano. District 11 includes parts of Bristol, Portsmouth and Tiverton.
In an unusual twist, Ottiano supported Democrat Seveney, the vice president of the Portsmouth Town Council.
Independent Greg Blythe will remain part of the field when Seveney and Pagliarini square off in the general election on January 5.
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