Union County GOP Chairman Glenn Mortimer is expected to become the new Mountainside Borough Administrator.
At a workshop meeting earlier tonight, the governing body voted 3-2 with one abstention to offer the job to Mortimer, who served as a councilman from 1998 until his retirement last year.
A formal vote will come at their next regular meeting on August 18. Mortimer will replace Thomas Atkins.
Mountainside (pop. 6,685) is one of the last GOP strongholds in Union County. Donald Trump carried it with 56% in 2016 and Leonard Lance with 55% in 2018. In the 2019 State Assembly race, incumbents Jon Bramnick and Nancy Munoz carried Mountainside by 570 and 525 votes, respectively.
That’s not far off from where the borough was a decade ago, when Lance won 64% and John McCain received 61%. It’s been Republican almost forever: the GOP won borough council seats despite national Democratic wave elections, 1964 and 1974.
Republicans narrowly won a hotly contested race for council in 2018, when the Dildogate scandal put the seats in play.
The salacious scandal being played out in a lawsuit alleges massive harassment, racism and homophobic slurs by top officials of a 22-member local police department.
Democrat Ileana Montes, a former director of the state Division on Women, coming within 77 votes of incumbent Robert Messler. Anjali Mehrotra, now the president of the National Organization of Women-New Jersey, ran just 64 votes behind Montes.
In 2019, Mayor Paul Mirabelli was re-elected with 72% of the vote against independent Coady Brown, but Democrat Carlos Gomez came within 39 votes of defeating Donna Pacifico. Pacifico ran for Mortimer’s open council seat.
Democrats did not nominate any local candidates to run this year against Republicans incumbent Deanna Andre. Councilman Keith Turner is not seeking re-election and the GOP is backing Steven Matejek for his seat.
Turner has been councilman for fifteen years.