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Chatham Township Democratic Municipal Chairman Philip Ankel. (Photo: Phil Ankel.)

Chatham Township elects new Dem municipal chairman

By David Wildstein, February 12 2021 11:48 am

Chatham Township Democrats have picked Philip Ankel as the new municipal chair following the resignation of Anne DeSilva.

Ankel ran for township committeeman in 2020 and lost by a narrow 272 votes to Republican Mark Hamilton in a municipality that had been a GOP stronghold for decades.

Chatham Township gave President Joe Biden a 58%-39% win, with U.S. Senator Cory Booker receiving 53% and Rep. Mikie Sherrill getting 55%.   Democrats have a 3-2 majority on the Township Committee.

Four years earlier, Hillary Clinton carried Chatham Township, 50%-44%, with Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-Harding) winning with 56% of the vote.

“Our most recent election confirmed again that there is strong support for Democratic candidates focused on addressing key themes like fiscal prudence, protecting our green spaces and long-term planning,” said Ankel.  “This, even in a town where the voter registration numbers strongly favor Republicans.

Ankel spent nine years working at the U.S. Department of Commerce before moving to Chatham in 2015.

DeSilva stepped down due to personal commitments.

“I intend to build on Anne’s great work in expanding our base focused on voters across the political spectrum who want sensible fact-based decision making from their government officials,” Ankel said.

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