PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (WPRI) — The results are in, and Republican John Pagliarini Jr. appears on track to win the District 11 Senate seat.
The Tiverton lawyer’s supporters claimed victory Tuesday night after he received 1,203 votes in a special election to succeed retired Sen. Christopher Ottiano. Democrat James Seveney received 1,133 votes while independent Gregory Steven Blythe came in third with 25.
But officials say the results are not yet final because approximately 200 mail ballots will not be counted until Wednesday night, after which the state Board of Elections will certify the results and the winner.
Ottiano announced plans to step down in October, saying he wants to focus on his new job as Associate Medical Director of Neighborhood Health Plan.
Despite being a Republican, Ottiano threw his support behind Seveney prior to the election.
Republicans held five of Rhode Island’s 38 Senate seats before Ottiano’s retirement; a victory for Pagliarini would keep the size of the GOP’s caucus steady.