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Barbara Kossyk, a former vice chair of the Piscataway Republican Organization who ran three times for Township Council, died on July 27. She was 86.
In 1982, Kossyk became a candidate for the Piscataway Township Council 2nd ward seat being vacated by her former husband. She faced Margaret Kruse, an aide to Mayor Robert Smith, and lost by 218 votes, a 54%-46% margin.
She ran again in 1988, this time for an at-large council seat. Kossyk was the top Republican vote-getter but lost to Democratic incumbent William Dubrow by nearly 1,400 votes, a 55%-45% race between the third and fourth place finishers.
Kossyk ran in 1990 for the 2nd ward seat against newcomer Brian Wahler, who now serves as mayor. She dropped out due to health reasons, and in Republican wave triggered by Gov. Jim Florio’s $2.8 billion tax increase, Wahler lost to the replacement candidate, Donald Pierce
She ran again in 1992, for a two-year unexpired term after Pierce resigned. The council appointed Ron Cirlincione to fill the seat. Cirlincione was not a candidate Kossyk ran against Wahler. With Florio now rebounding, Wahler beat Kossyk by about 500 votes (56%-44%).