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Candidates Set for Dennigan's Seat

This just in from the Secretary of State's office on the race to succeed State Representative Elizabeth Dennigan, who has stepped down to challenge Congressman Jim Langevin:

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis announced today that just three of the four candidates who filed to run for Elizabeth Dennigan’s former House seat have officially qualified to appear on the Dec. 29 ballot.

State law required the contenders to submit nomination papers including the signatures of at least 50 House District 62 voters earlier this week. Mollis’ office finished certifying the results this morning after receiving the nomination papers from the East Providence and Pawtucket boards of canvassers.

One-hundred-and-thirty-two of the signatures collected by Democrat Mary Duffy Messier of Pawtucket ended up surviving the certification process. Republican Thomas Clupny of East Providence ended up with 100 certified signatures and independent Paul Dinsmore of East Providence, who challenged Dennigan as a Republican in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008; had 62.

A fourth candidate who filed declaration of candidacy papers earlier this month -- Brian Cinq-Mars of Pawtucket -- failed to submit nomination papers by last Tuesday’s deadline.

While there will be no primary, there are several other crucial dates leading up to the Dec. 29 election. The next milestone will be Nov. 23, when Mollis will hold a public lottery to determine the order in which Messier, Clupny and Dinsmore will appear on the ballot. Nov. 28 is the deadline for registering to vote and mail ballots must be requested by Dec. 8.

The special election became necessary when Dennigan resigned Oct. 1. Her former district stretches along the eastern shore of the Seekonk River in East Providence and Pawtucket.

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