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Maywood Councilwoman-elect Danyel Cicarelli. (Photo: Cicarelli for Maywood Council 2022).

GOP picks up council seat in Maywood, a Democratic town

New election held after November ’21 vote ended in a tie

By David Wildstein, February 15 2022 9:04 pm

Update: on Wednesday morning, the Bergen County Clerk is showing Republican Danyel Cicarelli’s lead at 51 votes, 585 to 534. 

Republicans appear headed for a win in Maywood, where two candidates for borough council faced-off in a do-over election of a November 2021 race that ended in a tie.

Former school board member Danyel Cicarelli leads Democrat Katherine Bennin by 63 votes, 585 to 522, a margin of 52.9% to 47.1%.

Bennin had been the incumbent and the seat has remained vacant since the council reorganized last month.

Vote-by-mail ballots postmarked by 8 PM on Tuesday will be counted as long as they arrive at the Bergen County Board of Elections by close of business next Monday.  It’s not immediately clear how many ballot cure letters are outstanding.

Bennin won the mail-in ballots, 201 to 111, but Cicarelli, a public school teacher, took the machine vote by 153 votes.

Republicans flipped another council seat in November when Samuel Conoscenti defeated Democratic Councilman Douglas Herrick by 50 votes, 1,450 to 1,400.    Cicarelli and Bennin each received 1,437 votes.

Maywood has a Democratic mayor; Democrats were defending a 6-0 council majority going into the 2021 election.  Democrats will now have a 4-2 majority on the council if Cicarelli is certified as the winner, making 2022 a control election in a suburban Bergen County municipality that tilts blue.

Democrats make up 39% of the registered voters in Maywood; Republicans are 20% of the local electorate.

The close election wasn’t necessarily a Republican wave.  Gov. Phil Murphy carried the borough by 364 votes against GOP challenger Jack Ciattarelli, 1,702 to 1,338 (57%-43%.) State Sen. Joseph Lagana (D-Paramus) won Maywood by 349 votes.  In 2017

Murphy took Maywood in 2017 by 417 votes.  Turnout was 43% in 2017 and 44% in 2021.  Joe Biden won Maywood by 1,055 votes, 59%-40%, in the 2020 presidential election.

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