Michael Melham was elected mayor of Belleville, defeating three-term incumbent Raymond Kimble by 160 votes – 1,826 (41%) to 1,736 (39%). School board member Liza Lopez finished third with 850 votes (19%).
Kimble was one of two Democratic mayors who endorsed Republican Gov. Chris Christie in 2013 to lose re-election. Melham used Kimble’s support of the now unpopular former governor as an issue in his campaign.
In the race for Township Council, both of Melham’s running mates, Thomas Graziano and Naomy De Peña, won. Longtime councilman Kevin Kennedy finished fourth in a field of six candidates for the two seats.
Melham’s campaign was run by Phil Swibinski of Vision Media, who also handled Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis’ successful re-election campaign.