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Palisades Park GOP council candidate Stephanie Jang. (Photo: Stephanie Jang via Facebook).

In 24-vote race, judge will entertain move to challenge Palisades Park election

Republican holds narrow lead over Democratic councilman

By David Wildstein, December 10 2021 8:55 pm

A Democratic councilman from Palisades Park is contesting the results of the November 2 general election are losing by 24 votes after a Superior Court Judge rejected a request for a recount.

Judge Estela De La Cruz denied JongChul Lee’s recount bid, saying that it was filed six days after the deadline.   She rejected a petition for reconsideration today.

Lee trails Republican Stephanie S. Jang, the educational director at the Palisades Park Korean American Association, 1,207 to 1,183.

Instead, De La Cruz authorized Lee’s attorney, Stephen Pellino, to conduct depositions to be completed by January 7.  The judge will hold status conference three days later to determine if there is evidence that would be sufficient to change the results of the election.

But De La Cruz stopped short of blocking Jang from taking office when the borough council holds their reorganization meeting next month.

Last year, De La Cruz ordered two certified winners of a township committee race – both Democrats — in Rochelle Park not to take office until an election contest was completed.

In that race, just five votes separated three candidates.  After seven challenged votes were counted, a Republican won one of the seats by two votes.

Incumbent Paul Kim, a Democrat, was the top vote-getter in Palisades Park.  He received 1,273 votes.  Republican Matteo Osso finished fourth with 935 votes.

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