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Melissa Saharko

Mendham GOP wins

By David Wildstein, November 12 2019 10:16 am

Republican Jordin Orlins has won a seat on the Mendham Township Committee, defeating Democrat Melissa Suharko by 16 votes following a count of provisional and late vote-by-mail ballots.

Orlins had led by just one vote on Election Day.

The GOP now maintains their 4-1 majority on the township committee.

Ttwo GOP incumbents, Mayor Warren Gisser and councilman Richard Diegnan, did not seek re-election.

Democrats  Saharko, 36, a librarian who worked at the National Archives and Smithsonian, and Trishna Goswami as their candidates.

To replace Gisser and Diegnan, Republican nominated Orlins, 52, an investment fund manager, and Thomas Baio, 54, an architect.

Baio defeated Goswami on Tuesday.

Democrats won a council seat in 2017 when Amalia Duarte defeated incumbent Rick Blood by a 54%-46% margin.

Republicans maintained control in 2018 when incumbent Sarah Neibart (1,636) and Rick Monaghan (1,666) held back a challenge from Democrats Patricia O’Brien (1,479) and Brenda Grant (1,472).

Mendham Township was once a Republican stronghold, but their margins have shrunk considerably in recent years.  Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair) carried the township with 52% of the vote; her predecessor, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, won 67% in 2016.

This story was updated at 4:51 PM.

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