Araujo wins big, moves on to round 2

Araujo wins big, moves on to round 2

Michael Araujo, center, celebrates his primary win at Craft Burgers and Beer, in Pawtucket, with his family, from left, daughter Felicia Mayben, daughter and campaign manager Amanda Araujo, wife Marylou Araujo, winner Araujo, daughter Kayla Zapata, and son Chris Johnson. (Breeze photos by Charles Lawrence)

PAWTUCKET – Michael Araujo responded to his win in the Democratic primary on June 5 with the same even tone he’d used in the days leading up to election day.

Winning a special election primary is all about turning out the vote, Araujo said, and he “worked really hard” to win this campaign for a seat on the council. He commended challenger Emmanuel Echevarria for running a clean campaign and said he admired his approach.

Asked if he was confident heading into the primary on June 5, Araujo said, “I was confident that I put my best foot forward.” This is “one step down, another to go,” he said.

Though the odds are stacked in the Democrat’s favor in a July 10 general election against independent Rodney Barber, he said he’s not counting anything as a guarantee yet. The winner will take the at-large seat vacated by Sandra Cano, now the state senator representing District 8, and must run again in the fall elections.

Araujo, a veteran member of the Pawtucket School Committee, defeated Echevarria on June 5 for the right to have his name on the Democratic ticket for the seat.

When votes were totaled, he had 755 votes, or 62.4 percent of the vote, to 454 votes, or 37.5 percent. The margin came despite Araujo actually losing in the Fairlawn neighborhood, where many residents and community leaders campaigned for Echevarria due to his more strident opposition to construction of a new waste transfer station.

Echevarria, for his part, didn’t appear discouraged, and many of his supporters commended him for the showing after running a brief campaign as a political newcomer.

Echevarria congratulated Araujo on the win and wished him luck in the July election.

“My first campaign is over. While we didn’t get the result we wanted, I’m proud of the effort we put forward,” he said in a post. “I’m taking a short break to be a private citizen, but will be running in the council at-large democratic primary in the fall. A huge thank you to my supporters.”

Echevarria and other potential candidates have plenty of opportunity in the fall election. At-large Councilor Larry Tetreault has said he won’t run again, leaving only Albert Vitali Jr. with experience in the at-large third of the council. Vitali announced this week that he’ll run again, and School Committee member Elena Vasquez has also announced that she’ll run.

Araujo celebrated with family, friends and political supporters at Craft Burgers and Beer on East Avenue.

Winning a special election primary is all about turning out the vote, Araujo said, and he “worked really hard” to win this campaign. He commended Echevarria for running a clean campaign and said he admired his approach.

Michael Araujo was on hand to greet his supporters at Craft Burgers and Beer, in Pawtucket, after winning the June 5 Democratic primary in Pawtucket for the at-large Council seat formerly held by Sandra Cano.