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Mansfield Township Committee write-in candidate Robert Tallon.

Mansfield write-in candidates may unseat incumbent mayor

By Nikita Biryukov, November 11 2020 12:08 pm

Write-in candidates in Mansfield may unseat two Republican incumbents there.

Election officials in Burlington County have tallied 2,057 votes for Mayor Janice DiGiuseppe and 2,059 votes for her running mate, Paul Tsiknakis.

Those votes account for a little more than 46% of those reported from Mansfield so far. The remaining 4,768 were write-ins.

It’s not clear how many of those write-in votes went to Robert Tallon, a former member of the town’s since-dissolved environmental commission, and teacher Daniel Golenda.

Election officials have resolved 2,210 of those votes, but they’ve yet to release any write-in vote tallies.

The remaining 2,558 write-in votes mean Tallon and Golenda can win. If those two win all of the write-in votes — it’s likely that at least a handful will go toward other individuals or joke candidates like Vermin Supreme — they’d lead the incumbents by a little more than 300 votes.

“The real goal of the campaign was to wake the township up to what was happening, and as far as that goes, we already won,” said Katherine Tallon, a spokeswoman for the write-in campaign. “More people in the township chose a write-in candidate than the mayor and her running mate.”

It’s not clear how many outstanding mail-in ballots there are in Burlington County, though the count there has slowed over the past few days, suggesting most mail-in ballots have already been counted. The deadline for late-arriving mail-in ballots postmarked by election day was Nov. 10.

There’s more clarity on the number of provisional ballots there. Countywide, voters cast about 15,000 of those, but only 184 came from Mansfield.

Those ballots are expected to favor Republicans, though they may not be enough to bridge the gap if write-in votes break almost entirely to Tallon and Golenda.

The two launched their campaign after Mansfield’s township committee moved to dissolve the town’s environmental commission and enacted a hard 2.5-hour time limit on committee meetings opponents say was created to limit public comment.

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