Lambertville Mayor Julia Fahl, who ousted a 27-year incumbent in the Democratic primary three years ago, will not seek re-election to a second term.
“It’s been an incredible honor to work for the city of Lambertville and the decision to not run again was not an easy one,” Fahl said. “I spent many nights of quarantine weighing this choice. The unprecedented evening hours I was given to sit and reflect was a gift I was not quite aware of at the time.”
Fahl was a 27-year-old political fundraiser when she mounted a stunning grassroots campaign in 2018 that defeated David DelVecchio by a 55%-45% margin in a small but politically prestigious city.
“There were certainly moments throughout my term that were frustrating,” Fahl said. “Often my desire to see eye to eye with some constituents felt insurmountable. But for every valley there were twice as many peaks.”
She listed improved transparency, affordable housing, and a commitment to social justice as her strongest accomplishments.
“As the nation called for more progressive social justice centric policies this summer, Lambertville was already a few steps ahead. Tangible progressive policy is something this administration has worked towards since my first day as mayor,” Fahl stated. “We implemented strong renters’ protection through new changes to our administration system and codes to ensure better oversight of landlords and to better advocate for renters. We coordinated with local not-for-profits, the county, and our OEM team to ensure that when major infrastructure projects were happening in and around our multifamily units, we were able to advocate for those residents and provide services to them.”
Alex Torpey, who was fired as the city’s business administrator last year, filed a lawsuit accusing Fahl of putting a political supporter on the public payroll and using graphic sexual language.
Fahl works as a lobbyist at Tonio Burgos and Associates.
She worked as a fundraiser for Phil Murphy’s 2017 gubernatorial campaign. Her campaign for mayor was managed by her wife, Kari Osmond, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman’s district director and a former chief of staff to Assemblyman Reed Gusciora.
“After this term, I’ve chosen to refocus my time on my family, my marriage, and my personal endeavors,” Fahl explained. “I began my run for mayor just two months after my wedding, perhaps naively thinking the former wouldn’t affect the latter so much.”
It’s not clear who will compete to replace Fahl in a city where the Democratic nomination is tantamount to election.
Republicans haven’t won a Lambertville mayoral race since Frank Fuzo was elected in 1988 and rarely bother nominating a candidate.