Rocky Hill Councilwoman Amy Kirtland will serve the remaining year of Mayor Bob Uhrik’s term on the borough council after winning a last-minute write-in campaign.
Kirtland, who received 59 of the 121 write-in votes cast in Rocky Hill, said Councilwoman Rasheeda Pretto and Councilwoman-elect Jenn Walsh convinced her to allow them to run a less-than-official write-in campaign on her behalf.
“They emailed a few friends said ‘hey, write her in. She’s good. She’s going to do one more year, get the budget straightened out,’” Kirtland said. “It wasn’t anything official. It was a couple of calls, a couple of emails, just that kind of stuff. We’re a very, very small borough, so it doesn’t take too much.”
Rocky Hill boasts a population of less than 700, and the town’s local elections have often been a bit wonky as a result.
Candidates for local office there frequently run unopposed, and sometimes, no candidates run at all.
None filed for the remainder of Uhrik’s term.
Kirtland did not seek re-election to her own seat because she was unsure at the time whether she would remain a New Jersey resident in the immediate future.
Pretto, who then held Uhrik’s Council seat, decided to seek a full term instead of running for the remainder of the mayor’s unexpired term.
The victories of the three women — in Pretto and Walsh’s case they were unopposed victories — will give women a 5-1 majority on the Council on Jan. 6.
Such gender majorities are rare in local New Jersey politics and unheard of within the statehouse and Garden state’s congressional delegation.
Kirtland hasn’t decided if she’ll run for re-election when her term expires next year. Her decision, like the one she made earlier this year, will be based on her residency more than anything else.
“If I’m still here, yes absolutely. I very much enjoy what I do, so I absolutely will,” she said when asked about a re-election bid.”
Though, a move could still be on the horizon.
“At some point — I do have a bunch of family from Ohio,” she said. “The school systems are better out here for my children, though, so we’re not anxious to move, but eventually that will be happening.”