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Petri gets enthusiastic reception at meet & greet
Warwick Beacon photo
DELAYED HONEMOON: GOP mayoral candidate Stacia Petri shares a laugh with her fiancé, Jay Huyler, at her meet and greet event last Wednesday. They will be married next month, but the honeymoon has been put off until after the Sept. 9 primary.

Ray Hattoy said he had read about Republican candidate for mayor Stacia Petri. Then he got an automated phone call informing him of a meet and greet Wednesday evening at the Islander Restaurant. He decided to see what she had to say.

Hattoy wasn’t the only one. He was one of about 60 to stop in to meet the woman challenging incumbent Mayor Scott Avedisian to be on the November ballot. They will face off in the Sept. 9 Republican primary. The winner will face whoever is the top vote getter in the Democratic primary, a contest between John “Jack” Kirby and Carel Callahan Bainum. Kevin Eiseman will be running as an independent.

How the mayoral Republican primary will play out in a city where most voters are registered as unaffiliated or Democrats has some political pundits saying Petri could be successful in unseating a mayor who consistently won 70 percent or more of the voters in general elections for the past 14 years. Registered Republicans number 6,093; Democrats 19,085; unaffiliated voters add up to 32,056.

But there’s more to the primary than the race for mayor.

Gubernatorial candidates Cranston Mayor Allan Fung and Ken Block top the Republican primary ballot. Their hotly fought race promises to bring out more Republicans than usual.

Will that favor Avedisian, who is backing Fung, or Petri, who favors Block? She said Block is an outsider, or what she considers herself.

And, as the Republicans have a horse race going for governor, so do the Democrats. The three leaders – Gina Raimondo, Angel Taveras and Clay Pell – are spending big money to get their names in front of the voters. Will unaffiliated voters, who can decide to vote Republican or Democrat the day of the primary, affect the outcome of the mayoral race?

Richard Langseth, who challenged Avedisian in the 2010 GOP primary, thinks Petri brings in unaffiliated voters, regardless of the high profile races for governor. Langseth was at Petri’s event on Wednesday. Langseth doesn’t see Petri losing voters to the Democratic primary.

“They’re going to go where the local issues are. To them, the mayor is more important than the governor,” he said.

Avedisian trounced Langseth in 2010. The mayor won 2,064 to 635 votes for Langseth. While a significant percentage, the total number of votes cast in a city with more than 56,000 registered voters was small.

“If she were to get 2,000 votes, she could win,” he speculated.

Robert Cushman also said a Petri win “is doable.” The former Democratic Ward 1 councilman and chairman of the School Committee reasons, “There’s a lot of negativity out there,” and that Petri is a fresh face. But Cushman won’t be able to vote for Petri in the primary. The deadline for changing pre-registered party affiliation has passed.

Wednesday’s meet and greet was casual, with groups of people seated around tables and chatting while sipping drinks. Petri drifted from one group to the next, mingling. At first she said she had no plans of formally addressing everyone, preferring to meet them one-on-one, but at the urging of her campaign manager, Roy Dempsey, she changed her mind.

“You are my main priority,” she said in brief remarks. Without naming Avedisian, she said, “14 years of the same thing is far too long.”

She didn’t get into what she would do differently, but she assured, “this is going to happen.”

Some in attendance said they had hoped to hear more. Paul Tremblay said he wants to see a Republican mayor as a balance to a Democratic council but he thinks Avedisian has been mayor long enough. He’s critical of Avedisian’s budgets and the tax increases they’ve meant.

“I’ve seen too many people losing their homes,” he said. “I’m tired of taxes in Rhode Island.”

“She could sneak in,” he said.

As for governor, he’s leaning toward Block.

Another staunch Republican, James Boyajian, said, “It’s time for him [Avedisian] to leave.”

Boyajian said he supported Avedisian for years, but he became disenchanted when he sought to talk to him about a city tree that he believed threatened his house. He said nothing happened after he brought up the matter. Sometime later, he talked to Ward 3 Councilwoman Camille Vella-Wilkinson and it wasn’t too long before the tree came down.

“He’s getting to be a dictator,” he said of Avedisian.


Comments
21 comments on this item

"She didn’t get into what she would do differently". Great campaign strategy Roy...

The whole article is very vague. I just love these candidates with absolutely no experience in government who think they can wave a magic wand and solve all of the city's problems. She looks like she is biting off more than she can chew. Why wouldn't you start out running for Council instead of the top job. If you do get elected, you will be shocked at all there really is to running the City. Then, you'll have a greater appreciation for the current Mayor.

James Boyajian if you wanted a tree cut down, why would you ask the mayor? How about calling Dave Picozzi's office at DPW and then if you dont get results try city hall. You are saying Avedesian is becoming a dictator but yet you want HIM to deal with a tree problem you have even though there are departments that handle that.

Good Luck to Stacia, a change would be nice.

.

That is an interesting and valid point about experience, and what experience is required to be Mayor? Although another equally important or better question might be; what skillset is required to be Mayor? How would an HR expert put forth such a job description?

That lady knows exactly what she is doing and she is brilliant. I was at her meet & greet and she gave her personal time to each and every one of us. The Beacon isn't being fair to her. Stacia knows exactly what needs to get done, first thing: becoming mayor, because 14 years of Avedisian is far too long and we are being deceived. As a small business owner who is struggling and getting harassed by this city every day... the current mayor absolutely needs to go because they do not care about us, all of us...the tax payers! Warwick needs a smart fiscal conservative in office..vote Stacia in!!

You all want to see the information she's posting on her Facebook page and website!! https://www.facebook.com/StaciaforMayor http://staciaformayor.com/facebook/

That lady knows exactly what she is doing and she is brilliant. I was at her meet & greet and she gave her personal time to each and every one of us. The Beacon isn't being fair to her. Stacia knows exactly what needs to get done, first thing: becoming mayor, because 14 years of Avedisian is far too long and we are being deceived. As a small business owner who is struggling and getting harassed by this city every day... the current mayor absolutely needs to go because they do not care about us, all of us...the tax payers! Warwick needs a smart fiscal conservative in office..vote Stacia in!!

You all want to see the information she's posting on her Facebook page and website!! https://www.facebook.com/StaciaforMayor http://staciaformayor.com/facebook/

Same post from two different people? Interesting..... She gave personal time because there were 6 people there.. Good luck we do need change just not sure your it....

A bit about Summit Pharmacy . . .ambulance chasers

A lawsuit recently filed by Allstate New Jersey Insurance Company (Allstate) accuses Summit Pharmacy, Inc., its officers and employees, as well as South Jersey doctors . and their respective facilities of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and the New Jersey Insurance Fraud Prevention Act (the Insurance Fraud Act) by unlawfully directing and/or diverting Allstate customers away from their own personal pharmacies to Summit Pharmacy, Inc. The allegations relate to automobile insurance claims submitted to Allstate as the result of car accidents and to prescription drugs sent by Summit Pharmacy to Allstate customers by mail.

Allstate accuses the defendants of violating the New Jersey Insurance Fraud Prevention Act by billing Allstate for medications despite Summit Pharmacy failing to have prescriptions for various drugs provided to Allstate customers. Furthermore, Allstate accuses the defendants of unlawfully waiving co-payments that are required to be paid by New Jersey law.

Finally, Allstate accuses Summit Pharmacy of violating the New Jersey Insurance Fraud Prevention Act by seeking reimbursement for prescription medication from 2007 to September 28, 2009 when Summit, an Arizona company, was not registered as a pharmacy in the State of New Jersey.

Iamaindependent: Unfortunately you fell into the rookie trap of misidentification. Summit Pharmaceuticals and Summit Pharmacy are entirely different organizations. Just as Stacia fell into a social media trap, you did too. We all need to step back and try to figure out what is best for Warwick and each of us as voters. We need options. Keep an open mind. That is what election campaigns are all about.

Here is the story on Summit Pharmaceuticals:

SPI is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Corporation and is an integrated service company specializing in the area of pharmaceutical development and commercialization with 90 professional staffs at 5 locations including own API warehouse and analytical laboratory in Japan. SPI has a good track record in activities such as, exclusive agent of ATCC (the world's largest gene/cell bank for research) of the USA, supply of starting materials, intermediates and active pharmaceutical raw materials for pharmaceuticals, and intermediation/consultation services in license/co-research arrangements of promising drugs/diagnostics/technologies originating from domestic and foreign bio-ventures, pharmaceutical companies, universities and institutes.

I can see that Stacia supports people like Rob Cote that make erroneous claims against the fire dept . His quotes on the other article are down right despicable.

From his webpage: "When I took office as Mayor, I pledged that...all children...would leave school ready to work and lead productive lives..." Are Warwick's public school students more prepared now than they were 14 years ago? I don't think so. Has he exhibited leadership on one of the hot-button issues of the day, school consolidation? No. The city has actually lost population under the mayor's tenure with no turn around in sight. Finally, could someone please offer some insight on the mayor's work experience in the private sector? Has he ever had to make a payroll, achieve sales goals, support a family? When taken in isolation, none of the above is a disqualifier. Taken in totality, however, it appears the mayor has lived in an insolated, government bubble for a very long time.

SteveD, in a sane world you and Avedisian would be at odds. Your support for him shows that he is your lap dog and must go.

Water was being served in pitchers all night---it's unprofessional how Mr. Howell is misrepresenting Ms. Petri.

Stacia needs an issue to run on badly. Just saying "low taxes" is not good enough. Hopefully her campaign isn't listening to Richard Langseth because if they think 2,000 votes is winning this election they are mistaken. Also having her speak in public when there was no plan to do so seems odd. Why make the candidate do something she clearly wasn't comfortable doing? I believe the lack of experience running her campaign will be what ultimately dooms her. There was a real chance to beat the Mayor, but I can feel that slipping as each day passes. You have just over 6 weeks to beat a 7 term incumbent mayor. Just saying "14 years is too much " isn't going to be enough. People are fed up, but they want to hear ideas...not the same empty rhetoric that a 12 year old could come up with. If I were Ms. Petri I would start going door to door and meeting as many voters as possible with 1 or 2 real policy alternatives. Not republican voters, any voter!!!

Also to the Petri campaign: I would keep Rob Cote as far away from operations as possible. This debate has no place for a crude, loud mouth, obnoxious, low life. After reading his comments on a previous article he has shown his true self and it is sad. May he find happiness in making his you tube videos for 6 people. I do not work for the city or fire department at all and I found those comments disgusting. Shame on you!!!! Hopefully you find some type of hobby, or counseling as it sounds like you need both badly.

Scall0214:

How many votes do you think it would take for Stacia to beat the mayor?

Richard, the mayor has a strong base in this city that I feel you're ignoring. City employees will take him as the lesser of all the evils (to them), they are better organized and will turn out to vote in numbers. Also many voters choose to go with what they know. Which is why congress has such low approval ratings yet incumbents get sent back every year. To give you a number I think it could take over 3,000 votes. No candidate has ever won saying "if I just get this tiny block of voters i'll win." The mayor has a lot of money and a lot of support. While I think it is possible for Stacia to win I think many people are taking it for granted.

2065 votes. In the 2010 election Avedisian got 2064. After four years of property tax increases has he become more popular? Avedisian can't be beat in a general election. Too many democrats vote for him. Well, because he is one.

RLangseth- you are incorrect; I am not so silly that I fall in to the trap of "social media" - a nonsensical form of information. Her resume clearly states she works for Summit Pharmacy - again - see above. This has nothing to do with an open min - merely commenting on her employer and the business she is in - a disgusting business at that.

You can talk about Summit Pharmaceuticals all you want - she works for Summit Pharmacy; not sure if you are trying to deflect attention to her self-described employer. If she does indeed work for the above she should correct her resume.

A lawsuit recently filed by Allstate New Jersey Insurance Company (Allstate) accuses Summit Pharmacy, Inc., its officers and employees, as well as South Jersey doctors . and their respective facilities of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and the New Jersey Insurance Fraud Prevention Act (the Insurance Fraud Act) by unlawfully directing and/or diverting Allstate customers away from their own personal pharmacies to Summit Pharmacy, Inc. The allegations relate to automobile insurance claims submitted to Allstate as the result of car accidents and to prescription drugs sent by Summit Pharmacy to Allstate customers by mail.

Allstate accuses the defendants of violating the New Jersey Insurance Fraud Prevention Act by billing Allstate for medications despite Summit Pharmacy failing to have prescriptions for various drugs provided to Allstate customers. Furthermore, Allstate accuses the defendants of unlawfully waiving co-payments that are required to be paid by New Jersey law.

Finally, Allstate accuses Summit Pharmacy of violating the New Jersey Insurance Fraud Prevention Act by seeking reimbursement for prescription medication from 2007 to September 28, 2009 when Summit, an Arizona company, was not registered as a pharmacy in the State of New Jersey.

Leaving all hyperbole aside, WHAT IS HER PLAN and how is it different than how Mayor Avedisian has run things? I have been shown no reason to abandon the mayor and go with Stacia. And I also agree she would have been smarter to join a committee or get elected to a seat on the council to gain experience with city business before going for the top slot. My 2 cents!

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