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Candidate races in Newport County for local, state races

The 2024 election season is underway in Newport County, with seats on local city and town councils and state offices up for grabs.

The Newport Daily News will provide ongoing coverage of candidate announcements as they are all released in one place.

To have your announcement recorded, please email [email protected].

Smyth announces candidacy for Newport City Council

Steph Smyth, a sixth-generation Newporter, announced her candidacy for Newport City Council.

In 2022, Smyth received 2,910 votes and narrowly missed out on a seat on the Council with 113 votes.

“I look forward to harnessing the strength and lessons learned from my first campaign and hitting the road again. My desire to roll up my sleeves and work for Newport has only grown stronger over the past two years and this time I know I will reach even more voters,” Smyth said in a statement.

Smyth has worked in the tourism and hospitality sectors, for the Newport School Department, and has dedicated more than 15 years of her career to the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC). Today, she serves as a Senior Contracts Administration Management Officer and Workforce Resolution Facilitator at the Naval War College.

In addition to her professional experience, Steph has worked for the National Association for Government Employees (NAGE SEIU) as a labor negotiator and Union Steward and served on the Federal Women’s Program Committee in the Equal Employment Opportunities Office.

Smyth is an active member of the NAACP Newport Chapter and Involve Newport. She serves for the City of Newport as a Commissioner on the Tree and Open Space and Affirmative Action Committees. In 2022, Smyth was also asked to join Newport’s Charter Review Commission.

Education, housing, resilience, infrastructure and transport are among Smyth’s key areas of focus and in the coming weeks she will spend time listening to residents and rolling out her plans on StephSmyth.com.

Cortvriend seeks return to State House

Rhode Island Representative Terri-Denise Cortvriend will run for a fourth term representing House District 72, serving Middletown and Portsmouth.

“I am pleased to announce my candidacy for re-election to the Rhode Island General Assembly, and I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve as your state representative. During my tenure, working with my colleagues in the House of Representatives and with city leadership in both Middletown and Portsmouth, I have worked diligently to address the diverse needs and concerns of our community. One of my proudest achievements is my commitment to preserving and improving shoreline access for all Rhode Islanders. Access to our beautiful coastline is not just a privilege, but a fundamental right, and I have worked hard to ensure our beaches and waterways remain accessible to all.”

Cortvriend is a member of the House Finance Committee and the Environment & Natural Resources Committee. She is second vice chair of the Small Business Committee and vice chair of the House Short Term Rental Study Commission. She led the 2021 Legislative Committee on Shoreline Access.

She is the founder of the Aquidneck Island Climate Caucus and has sponsored legislation to ban PFAS (forever chemicals) in food packaging and consumer goods. She has sponsored legislation to reform the Coastal Resources Management Council and create a municipal composting fund.

Cortvriend can be reached at 401-472-4789 or [email protected]. More information at www.terricorvriend.com.

Ceglie plans to run for Newport’s 2nd Ward seat

Newport Councilwoman Lynn Underwood Ceglie announces she will serve in Newport’s 2nd Ward this fall. Since 2018, Ceglie has served on the At-Large Council, serving three terms as 2nd Ward Councilor and three terms as Vice President.

“I believe my strength lies in community services and I have found that I am most effective in serving the residents of the 2nd Ward. I would be honored to serve again as a 2nd Ward councilor,” Ceglie said in a statement.

Ceglie has lived in Newport’s 2nd Ward for 40 years and has deep family roots in Newport. She served on the 2007 Charter Review Commission, the 375th Anniversary Committee and as Vice Chair of the Zoning Board of Review. “I look forward to continuing my work on citywide issues that help both residents and businesses, and I will continue to be the same fair, responsive and responsible councilor since I came to power in 2014.”

Carson announces state representative. candidacy

Rhode Island Representative Lauren Carson will run for re-election to represent Newport in House District 75.

Carson was first elected to the Rhode Island House of Representatives in 2014. During her time at the State House, Carson was particularly active on the environment, small business, tourism, government transparency, aging issues and serving her constituents.

Carson said, “I consider serving the people of Newport my top priority. Whether it’s helping someone settle a tax claim or a question with the Department of Motor Vehicles, I’m always ready to help. I also liaise with the Newport City Council for state level needs. During this 2024 session, I have worked closer than ever with the Council to pass bills that bring new dollars to Newport to invest in our infrastructure and climate resilience.”

Climate remains a pillar of Carson’s work. In 2017, she sponsored a bill that required education about flooding and sea rise to local planning board members and created a uniform statewide application process for solar panel permits. In 2021, she sponsored the Act on Climate, which establishes enforceable mandates for the reduction of climate emissions. She continues to organize the Aquidneck Island Climate Caucus to engage residents in policy discussions about the implementation of the Climate Act. She works closely with the Tree and Open Space Commission on bills to regulate tree trimming by utility companies, and coordinates with the Waterfront Commission on the management of houseboats in Newport Harbor.

Since 2023, Carson has led statewide efforts to study aging policies and the impacts of short-term rentals. She currently chairs two House study committees to examine these issues and recommend policy to the House of Representatives. She serves on the House Internet, Small Business and Oversight Committees, where she chairs the Subcommittee on Arts, Tourism and Recreation. She is also vice chair of the House Environment Committee.

For more information about Carson’s background and plans for her next term, call 401-523-1143, email [email protected] or visit LaurenCarson.com.

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