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Firebrand eyes run for ex-husband’s seat in Providence’s Ward 9

September 16, 2011

UPDATE: Kurland wasn’t among nine candidates filing to run in the race by today’s 4 pm deadline. The candidates are independents Wendy Aguasuiva and Juan Hernanez; Republican Christian Chirino; and Democrats Carmen Castillo, Reinaldo Catone, Hector Jose, Rochelle Lee, Onassis Martinez, and Jose Severino.


Shannah Kurland, a longtime activist in Providence and the ex-wife of the late Ward 9 Councilor Miguel Luna, appears close to a run to succeed him.

Asked whether she will be a candidate, Kurland said, “That will all be established at 4 p.m.,” the filing deadline to run in a special election for the Ward 9 seat.

Kurland is a former director of the activist group Direct Action for Rights and Equality (DARE) and also worked for the Olneyville Neighborhood Association. Both organizations are known for their sharp advocacy on behalf poor and working class constituents.

Kurland says she remains on ONA’s board, a member and volunteer at DARE, and is on leave from being a full-time student in the law school at Roger Williams University. The 1990 graduate of Brown University says she was married to Luna for 12 years.

With the decision of Kas DeCarvalho not to run for the Ward 9 seats, the prospective field includes Kurland, Hector Jose, Carmen Castillo, Onassis Martinez, Rochelle Bates Lee, and Republican Christian Chirino.

There appears to be little love lost between Kurland and the administration of Mayor Angel Taveras. Says Kurland, “The people of Ward 9 don’t need City Hall to tell them who to vote for.”

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