Helmin Caba has defeated three-term incumbent Mayor Wilda Diaz to become the new mayor of Perth Amboy after the non-partisan runoff election on Tuesday.
Caba, a city councilman and the Democratic municipal chairman, leads Diaz by 654 votes, 4,772 to 4,118, after 1,548 additional ballots were counted this afternoon.
There are still about 600 votes still to be counted, leaving Diaz to concede her loss to Caba, including ballots that are on the cure letter list.
“While Junior Iglesia and Pastor Bernadette Falcon-Lopez and I did not see the outcome we were hoping for, we respect the will of the voters and thank each of you for exercising your right to vote,” said Diaz. “I called Helmin Caba earlier today to congratulate him on his win in the runoff election. I wish nothing but success for Mayor-Elect Caba and his incoming administration and commit to helping see a smooth transition.”
Rose Morales (4,748) and Bienvenido Torres (4,550) won two open seats on the city council as part of Caba’s ticket, defeating Junior Iglesia (3,979) and Bernadette Falcon-Lopez (3,901).
The additional votes counted today maintained the original Tuesday count of 54% for Caba and 46% from Diaz.
Diaz led Caba in the November 3 non-partisan election by 421 votes, 4,946 to 4,525, a 33%-20% margin in a four-candidate race. The three eliminated candidates had all signaled support for Diaz in the runoff, leaving Caba unencumbered by any deal as he begins plans to take office.
Diaz has been mayor since 2008 when he ousted incumbent Joseph Vas.
Caba, Morales and Torres will take office on January 1.
“I want all of our residents to know that my love for this city will never waver,” Diaz said.