The following was written by Michael Farley:
I am writing to lend my support to Harry Winthrop for the positions of Council Chair and Mayor of Newport.
Two years ago, I stood with Harry and Naomi in support of Jeanne Marie Napolitano as the Mayor. Unfortunately, I lost the 2010 recount by 9 votes, and Councilor McLaughlin cast the deciding vote against Jeanne Marie.
In July of this year, I was advised by Harry and Jeanne Marie to make no commitments regarding the mayoral selection. I honored that advice and made no commitments, but noted to both that I had previously supported the top vote-getter in my previous campaigns.
After speaking with Councilors Neville, Leonard and McLaughlin over the last several days, it is clear to me that they are firm in their support of Mayor Winthrop. I wish to avoid the unpleasantness of the 2010 mayoral selection process. I feel the best process for the City is to focus on the issues that matter most – economic development, financial stability and public safety.
I have the greatest respect and admiration for Councilor Jeanne Marie Napolitano. Her experience and dedication continue to serve the City well, and I look forward to working with her on the council.
By the same token, Harry Winthrop has demonstrated a unique ability to unify the council and the City. I have no reservations supporting Harry continuing as the Mayor. His emphasis on public safety, financial stability and economic development are important to me. I am proud to give him my support, and I look forward to working with Mayor Winthrop and the rest of the council in serving the residents of Newport.