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South Hunterdon Regional High School. (Photo: South Hunterdon Regional School District via Facebook).

Hunterdon County school referendum could go to recount

Though not requested by Hunterdon BOE, deputy attorney general is among respondents

By Joey Fox, December 07 2021 6:19 pm

A $33.4 million bond issue in the South Hunterdon Regional School District that currently leads by only two votes could head to a recount, after local Republicans filed a petition for a recount in November. The case will be heard by a judge on Friday, and if approved the recount will proceed next Monday, December 14.

While the bond issue was officially nonpartisan, the vote broke down on partisan lines; strongly Republican West Amwell voted overwhelmingly against it, but Democratic-leaning Lambertville and Stockton put the issue over the top, 1,773 to 1,771.

Among the many petitioners are the five elected members of the West Amwell Township Committee, all of whom are Republicans. The township committee opposed the referendum prior to the election, highlighting its cost to taxpayers.

Notably, one of the respondents to the petition is Deputy Attorney General Pamela Ullman, who will now theoretically be tasked with arguing against a recount despite the extreme closeness of the race. The New Jersey Globe has learned that the Hunterdon County Board of Elections did not request Ullman’s presence.

The attorney general’s office declined to comment on how Ullman came to represent the Hunterdon election board.

A similar situation occurred in January when Deputy Attorney General Beau Wilson appeared before a judge on behalf of the Atlantic County Board of Elections on a controversial Atlantic County election matter, but the board never authorized him to do so. Three days later, Wilson was benched and replaced by George N. Cohen.

If the bond issue’s victory holds, the money will be used to renovate the Lambertville Public School and build a new middle school on the existing regional high school campus.

This story was updated on December 8 at 9:09 a.m. with a response from the office of the attorney general.

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