David M. DelVecchio, who served as mayor of Lambertville for 27 years before losing the Democratic primary in 2018, wants his old job back.
DelVecchio has announced that he will run again in the June Democratic primary in a bid to win a tenth term as mayor of the small but hugely prestigious Hunterdon County city.
Julia Fahl, then a 28-year-old Democratic fundraiser who defeated DelVecchio three years ago by 145 votes, 54%-46%, is not seeking re-election.
“While I could not be more proud of everything we have been through together, I have to admit that I made a few mistakes along the way. And three years ago, you sent me a message and I paid for those mistakes,” DelVecchio said in an announcement video. “It was a message I didn’t like hearing, but it was a message I needed to hear. And trust me, I heard you loud and clear.”
Since his defeat, DelVecchio said that he has “had time to think and reflect.”
“What you told me was that I was fine as a Mayor, but I needed to be a better person. And I have committed to that new and improved version of myself. American in many ways, is the land of second chances,” he stated. “So in announcing my candidacy for Mayor, I am asking you for a second chance so that together, we can build a better Lambertville for tomorrow.”
DelVecchio is expected to face Andrew Nowick, a member of Fahl’s community advisory team, in the June 8 primary election. DelVecchio will run on the organization line with Gov. Phil Murphy.
“I will work hard to do that as well as to restore your faith and confidence in me,” DelVecchio said.
Last year, two city council incumbents backed by Fahl lost their seats to challengers supported by DelVecchio.
The 64-year-old DelVecchio was once a rising star in Central Jersey politics. He is a former Hunterdon County Democratic Chairman and ran a strong race for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1996.
In that congressional race, DelVecchio won the Demcoratic primary by a 45%-31% margin against Princeton Township Committeeman Carl Mayer, with physicist Rush Holt, making his first run for public office, finishing third with 24%.
In the general election, Somerset County Freeholder Michael Pappas defeated DelVecchio by 10,217 votes, 50%-47%, in a district that hadn’t elected a Democrat in 20 years. President Bill Clinton carried the 12th by a 48%-42% margin against Republican Bob Dole.
Pappas is also seeking a political comeback this year as the Republican candidate for State Senate in the 16th district. This is his first bid for public office since losing his House seat to Holt in 1998.
Elaine Warner, a former Lambertville councilwoman, will also be on the ballot as the Demcoratic candidate for Hunterdon County Clerk. She’ll face longtime Republican incumbent Mary Melfi.