Home>Campaigns>Just two incumbents lose in 14 municipal races across N.J.; Sciortino top vote-getter in Bordentown; Camden Democrats hold Collingswood

New Jersey Treasury director of communications Jennifer Sciortino. (Photo: Courtesy of Jennifer Sciortino)

Just two incumbents lose in 14 municipal races across N.J.; Sciortino top vote-getter in Bordentown; Camden Democrats hold Collingswood

Hackensack, Passaic, Lyndhurst mayors win big; 93% of incumbents re-elected in May 11 election

By David Wildstein, May 12 2021 1:31 am

Non-partisan municipal elections in fourteen New Jersey municipalities on Tuesday resulted in few changes in contests that resulted in the re-election of all but two incumbents across the state.

The most closely-watched race in the state was in Collingswood, where Mayor James Maley was re-elected to a ninth four-year term by a 2-1 margin against an aggressive challenge from an insurgent progressive slate.

Although the election is technically non-partisan, Maley and his running mates for the three-member borough commission had the backing of the Camden County Democratic machine.

The leader of the rival slate, Kate Delaney, finished sixth in a campaign that had the support of prominent progressive groups.

The fight in Collingswood immediately pivots to the June 8 primary, where the county Democratic organization is prioritizing a bid to recapture sixteen Democratic County Committee seats wrestled away from them by progressives in 2019 and oust Delaney as the municipal chair.

Gov. Phil Murphy is heading the organization line in that race.

Political veteran Jennifer Sciortino, a state Treasury Department official and statehouse favorite, is positioned to become the next mayor of Bordentown.  Local tradition dictates that the top vote-getter becomes mayor, and Sciortino currently leads Commissioner Joe Myers by 15 votes, with Mayor James Lynch, Jr. running seven votes behind Myers.

Two Bergen County mayors, John Labrosse in Hackensack and Robert Giangeruso in Lyndhurst, easily won re-election and swept their council slates along with them.

While Labrosse had no trouble winning a third term, the results come with a warning sign: the combined votes of the ten challengers stopped the mayor’s slate from passing the 50% mark.

Hackensack Councilman David Sims, who was dumped by the Labrosse Team after brining his daughter to City Hall after she had tested positive for Covid last year, was one of two incumbents to lose re-election.

The other was Haddonfield Commissioner Jeffrey Kasko, who finished fifth in a field of eight candidates for three seats.  Kasko, a former mayor, is the Republican State Committeeman from Camden County.

Passaic Mayor Hector Lora was re-elected with 89% of the vote against two perennial candidates.  One challenger was Jeffrey Dye, who was fired from his state job and removed from his post as president of the NAACP chapter after making zealously anti-Hispanic and anti-Semitic statements on social media.

Three incumbent city councilmen – a Black, a Hispanic and an Orthodox Jew – were re-elected, along with the Dominican American mayor.

In South Orange, former Cleveland Browns running back Braynard “Bobby” Brown was elected to an open seat as a Village Trustee.

Voters in Verona re-elected Mayor Jack McEvoy to the township council, along with a former deputy state attorney general and the president of the Verona teacher’s union.

Incumbents also won in Medford Lakes, Monmouth Beach, and Cedar Grove, where a late write-in campaign by a former councilman ended badly.  Incumbents in Sea Isle City, Avalon and Audubon ran unopposed.

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