2012 elections review: Seven incumbents fall in Rhode Island legislative primaries

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September 12, 2012

By Ballotpedia's Congressional and State legislative teams

The primary season continued yesterday with elections in Delaware, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.

Here's what happened in Rhode Island.

Contested Primaries in Rhode Island-- September 11, 2012
U.S. House
(2 seats)
State Legislature
(113 seats)
Total Democratic Contested Primaries 2 (100%) 43 (38%)
Total Republican Contested Primaries 2 (100%) 5 (4%)


U.S. Senate

United States Senate elections in Rhode Island, 2012

There were no contested primaries in Rhode Island's U.S. Senate race yesterday. Democratic incumbent Sheldon Whitehouse and Republican challenger Barry Hinckley both ran unopposed in their primaries. Todd Giroux, Dany LaPorte, Christopher D. Reynolds, and David J. Slavin are running as Independent candidates. In addition, Gregory Raposa is running for the Vigilant Fox Party.

U.S. House

United States House of Representatives elections in Rhode Island, 2012

Rhode Island has two congressional seats on the ballot in 2012. A total of 16 candidates filed to run, made up of 4 Democratic challengers, 6 Republican challengers, 2 incumbents, and 4 third-party candidates. A total of 429 U.S. House seats have held primaries. Thus far, 55.01% of possible primaries have been contested. Rhode Island's contested figure of 100% (4 out of 4 possible party primaries) is much more competitive than the national average.

Members of the U.S. House from Rhode Island-- Partisan Breakdown
Party As of November 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 2 2
     Republican Party 0 0
Total 2 2

State legislature

See also Rhode Island State Senate elections, 2012 and Rhode Island House of Representatives elections, 2012

In Rhode Island, there are 113 total legislative seats with elections in 2012. There were 43 (38%) contested Democratic primaries and 5 (4%) contested Republican primaries. Thus, there were 48 (21%) races with at least two candidates on the ballot. The 21% figure of contested primaries in Rhode Island was higher than the current national contested average of 18.4%.

There were a total of 34 incumbents facing primary opposition -- 32 Democrats and 2 Republicans. A total of seven incumbents were defeated, six in the House and one in the Senate:


Democratic PartyMichael Pinga


Democratic PartyMichael Tarro
Democratic PartyLeo Medina
Democratic PartyPeter Petrarca
Democratic PartyRene Menard
Democratic PartyJon Brien
Democratic PartyWilliam San Bento, Jr.

Some of the incumbents facing a primary challenge were:


Democratic Party District 14: Incumbent Daniel Da Ponte (D) survived a challenged by State Rep. Roberto DaSilva.
Democratic Party District 25: 19 year old University of Rhode Island student Nicole Amelia Acciardo was defeated by incumbent Frank Lombardo III.
Republican Party District 34: Incumbent Francis Maher survived a challenge from Paul R. Mcfadden.


Democratic Party District 8 freshman Michael Tarro (D) was soundly defeated by Elizabeth Libby Kimzey and John Joseph Lombardi.
Democratic Party District 44: Peter Petrarca lost to Gregory Costantino.
Democratic Party District 49 incumbent Lisa Baldelli-Hunt (D) was challenged by Stuart Gitlow and Michael Morin. She won.
Democratic Party District 59: Incumbent J. Patrick O'Neill, in office since 2005, faced John Arcaro. Arcaro lost.

Rhode Island House of Representatives
Party As of November 5, 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 65 69
     Republican Party 10 6
Total 75 75

Rhode Island State Senate
Party As of November 5, 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 29 32
     Republican Party 8 5
     Independent 1 1
Total 38 38

See also

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