Home>Campaigns>Figueroa Kettenburg leads in Trenton’s South Ward

Trenton City Council candidate Jenna Figueroa Kettenburg. (Photo: Jenna Kettenburg).

Figueroa Kettenburg leads in Trenton’s South Ward

By Joey Fox and David Wildstein, December 13 2022 9:51 pm

In a runoff election today, Jenna Figueroa Kettenburg leads in her race to represent the South Ward on the Trenton City Council.   With 100% of the machine and vote-by-mail ballots counted, Figuera Kettenburg is running 43 votes ahead of Damian Malave, 309 to 266 (53.7% to 42.3%).

There is unlikley to be a winner tonight since an undertermined number of provisional — about 40 split between the North and South Wards — and mail-in ballots remain uncounted.  VBMs postmarked by 8 PM tonight will be counted if they arrive at the Mercer County Board of Elections by 8 PM on Monday.

South Ward turnout for the runoff right now is at 8.3%.

Figueroa Kettenburg, a social worker who works for the state, will succeed George Muschal.  Muschal, a retired Trenton police officer and former acting mayor, had served as a councilman since 2009.  He backed Figueroa Kettenburg.

The contest was always between Malave and Figueroa Kettenburg, but thanks to the presence of minor candidate Evangeline Ugorji, neither of them cleared 50% in the first round.  Malave got 48% to Figueroa Kettenburg’s 42%.

Malave, a Mercer County Parks Department employee, made several attempts to cancel or delay the runoff. He tried to argue that Trenton shouldn’t hold runoffs at all – an argument that was quickly turned down by the judge – and that Figueroa Kettenburg shouldn’t be allowed to use her father’s last name, Figueroa, on the ballot since she’s registered to vote as Jenna L. Kettenburg. (The judge rejected that, too.)

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