WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — The race for mayor in Warwick is heating up.
Mayor Scott Avedisian responded to allegations Thursday from his challenger, Democrat Richard Corrente, who claimed the city has lost more than 4,000 businesses since Avedisian took office.
Corrente, a businessman, joined Eyewitness News This Morning on Thursday. He claimed he plans to cut taxes and spending.
“I’ve watched 5,800 taxpayers leave our city. I’ve watched 4,666 businesses close and leave our city,” Corrente said.
Avedisian disagrees, saying the city is doing better than ever before.
“We’ve asked him to give us a list of that because none of the numbers prove that,” Avedisian told Eyewitness News. “The number of tax bills to businesses continues to grow and he just continues to fabricate all sorts of stories.”
Avedisian acknowledged that some businesses have left – but said others have come to the city in their places.
On Corrente’s campaign website, he used pictures to support his loss of business claim. He showed 55 businesses with signs in the window reading “for sale” or “for lease” – leaving him off by more than 4,000 and 600 businesses from his allegation.
With a population of just more than 80,000 people, Corrente said he has nearly all of the city’s support in his race to City Hall.
“I’ve got 80,000 angry taxpayers on my side that are taxed beyond all reason,” he said.
“I don’t know how he has 80,000 people who support him when he only had 25 people show up at his event,” Avedisian argued. “But he’s free to say whatever he wants on the campaign. It would just be nice if he was truthful occasionally.”
Election day is November 8.