By Kim Kinzie

Bridget Valverde crushed Greg Acciardo in the Democratic primary for Senate District 35 Wednesday, 84 percent to 16 percent, with a total of 3,230 votes cast.

Valverde, a communications consultant who lives in North Kingstown, entered the race last winter, anticipating a campaign against incumbent Republican Mark Gee. When it came time to declare candidacy in June, however, Valverde suddenly found herself with a primary challenge in Acciardo, an East Greenwich lawyer. Meanwhile, Mark Gee did not run for reelection; instead, his wife, Dana Gee, entered the race. Valverde will face Gee in the general election Nov. 6.

Acciardo, who served as a state senator from Johnston from 1984 to 1992, was quickly endorsed by the state Democratic party after declaring but that endorsement was withdrawn after Acciardo’s record of DUIs and a deadly accident in Massachusetts became public. He had said he thought his experience at the State House made him the better choice.

The voters appear to have disagreed.

“I’m feeling great. This is what the people of District 35 want: a fresh voice, ” Valverde said Wednesday night after returns were in.

Valverde said she’d found the biggest issue for voters was protecting abortion rights, particularly with the Supreme Court tilting conservative.

“I also hear a lot about gun safety legislation. People want the General Assembly to do more,” she said. And, she said, voters were concerned with the lack of transparency.

What next? Valverde said she’ll continue to do what she’s been doing for months now: talk to constituents.

Despite the rain, approximately 2,261 East Greenwich residents voted in the primary Wednesday. Governor Gina Raimondo won the primary for governor, receiving 62.6 percent of the votes over Matt Brown (28.4 percent) and Spencer Dickenson  (8.9 percent). Raimondo will face Republican Allan Fung in November. Fung got 51.4 percent of votes in East Greenwich of the votes, ahead of Patricia Morgan (43.9 percent) and Giovanni Feroce (4.7%).

More than twice as many East Greenwich voters cast ballots in the Democratic primary (1,555) than in the Republican primary (706).

Find all the local and state primary results here. 


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