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Westfield school board turnout is highest in the state

School budget passes by almost 2-1 margin

By David Wildstein, April 25 2023 10:33 pm

Incumbents Brendan Galligan and Kent Diamond easily won re-election to the Westfield Board of Education tonight, with just newcomer Charles Gelinas winning the third seat in an election where turnout is at about 16%.

With 100% of the vote counted,  Diamond finished first with 2587, followed by Galligan (2,546) and Gelinas (2,470) . Brian Crawford (1,339) and Dyanna Pepitone (1,32) were defeated.

It’s not clear how many provisional ballots were cast, or the number of vote-by-mail ballots that were postmarked by 8 PM this evening but have not yet arrived at the Union County Board of Elections.

The school budget referendum passed with 64% of the vote.  Westfield had moved their school elections to November more than a decade ago but moved them back to April last year after deciding they would rather seek voter approval of their annual budget than be limited to a two percent cap on spending increase.

Galinas won the open seat of Michael Bielen, who did not seek another term.

To put Westfield’s voter turnout in perspective: the state’s largest city, Newark, produced slightly under 5,000 votes in today’s contested school board election, a turnout of about 3%.  Newark has more than six times the number of voters as Westfield, where roughly 4,019 voters turnout today.

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