Central Falls votes for a new mayor today, in a race of stark contrasts: James Diossa - the young reformist, son of Colombian immigrants - and Joseph P. Moran II, the former police chief with long ties to former Mayor Charles Moreau, headed to prison on fraud charges.
Diossa is the heavy favorite after garnering 59 percent of the vote in a runoff November 6. Moran finished second with just 18 percent of the vote. Those numbers speak, as well as any, to the shifting demographics of the Central Falls electorate - and the desire for change on the ground.
But some other results from November 6 make the case as well. President Obama swamped Mitt Romney 86 percent to 13 percent in the Central Falls. And Congressman David Cicilline, a liberal Democrat who has spent years cultivating the Latino vote, put together a lopsided margin of his own - besting Republican opponent Brendan Doherty 77 percent to 19 percent.
Both Obama and Cicilline won bigger victories in Central Falls than in any municipality in the state - including urban, Democratic strongholds like Pawtucket, Newport, and Cicilline's native Providence. Indeed, Providence was the only city that came close.