Democrat Dawn Euer, a progressive lawyer, cruised to victory in special election for the Rhode Island Senate seat formerly held by Teresa Paiva Weed.
Unofficial results showed Euer with 1,982 ballots, followed by Republican Mike Smith with 1,295, independent Kimberly Ripoli with 73, and Green Party candidate Gregory Larson with 17.
"Tonight's win is a win for everyone who believes that we need to do more to create good paying jobs and help our small businesses thrive," Euer said in a statement. "Who believes we deserve a government that is transparent and accountable to the people it serves. Who believes we need to do more to address climate change and preserve the open spaces that make our communities special. And who believes that our seniors deserve the ability to age in place with dignity."
“The voters have shown that people matter and that every voice and every vote are important. Now more than ever we must encourage people to get involved, to be a part of their community and to do their part to help make a difference. I'm looking forward to carrying this energy forward to the State House and being a voice for every Jamestown and Newport resident.”
Paiva Weed was first elected to the Senate in 1992. She stepped down in May from the post of Senate president to become head of the Hospital Association of Rhode Island.
Paiva Weed endorsed David Hanos in a primary election, but Euer won that race by hundreds of votes and Democrats rallied around her for the final vote to choose a successor in Paiva Weed's former Senate district.
Euer was part of the team that successfully fought to legalize same-sex marriage in 2013.
Smith described himself as a more moderate alternative. But in the end, District 13 votes in Newport and Jamestown expressed their support for Euer.