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Verona Mayor Alex Roman and Deputy Mayor Christine McGrath. (Photos: Alex Roman and Christine McGrath).

McGrath, Roman prevail in Verona

Incumbents easily beat Christian Strumolo, who had history of legal issues

By Joey Fox, May 09 2023 8:45 pm

Incumbents Christine McGrath and Alex Roman have both secured new terms on the Verona Township Council, handily defeating challenger Christian Strumolo. As of 11:21 p.m. and with all election districts reporting, McGrath was in first place with 42% of the vote followed closely by Roman with 41%, while Strumolo was far behind at 17%.

McGrath was first elected in 2019, coming in a dominant first place against a wide field of opponents; Roman, who had joined the council in 2015 after losing his first race in 2013, was re-elected alongside her by just two votes. (The other incumbent, Michael Nochimson, came in fourth place, 17 votes behind Roman.)

Strumolo, meanwhile, presented much less of a challenge for McGrath and Roman than their previous opponents.

The son of a former Bloomfield Democratic municipal chairman and an unsuccessful local candidate in 2005 and 2007, Strumolo has a long history of legal and financial issues, including a 2002 arrest for aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer. He also drew flak during the campaign for falsely asserting Roman and McGrath supported a cannabis dispensary that they in fact opposed.

Roman and McGrath hold Verona’s two top positions at the moment: Roman is mayor, while McGrath is deputy mayor. McGrath has also become a popular figure among Essex County progressives during her time on the council.

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