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Mendham Township Committee candidate Tracey Moreen, left, and Committeeman Tom Baio. (Photo: Baio and Moreen for Township Committee).

Republicans seek recount in tight Mendham Township Committee race

Artola, potential ’23 legislative candidate, wins in Rochelle Park

By Joey Fox, November 17 2022 2:59 pm

Democrats have declared victory for a seat on the Mendham Township Committee after leading by one vote, but Republicans released a statement today saying that the election remains unresolved and that they intend to seek a recount.

“It is vital that every legal ballot is properly counted and that resident voices are not suppressed,” Morris County Republican chair Laura Marie Ali said. “The integrity of our elections is fundamental to our democracy. The results of any election must instill confidence among candidates, electors, and administrators and accurately reflect the votes cast.” 

Ali added that two provisional ballots cast by Republican voters were “questionably rejected.” If those votes were counted, they might boost Republican Councilman Tom Baio over Democrat Lauren Spirig, who currently leads Baio 1,471 votes to 1,470. Republican Tracey Moreen is in first place with 1,530 votes, winning the other seat up this year.

The hometown of former Gov. Chris Christie, Mendham Township was once solidly Republican, but it has grown more competitive in recent years. The committee currently has four Republicans and one Democrat, Amalia Duarte, who also serves as the Morris County Democratic chair. 

In another close North Jersey local race, Republican Rochelle Park Councilwoman Gail Artola has won re-election 935-895 after provisional ballots were counted. Artola is considered a possible candidate for the 38th legislative district in 2023, potentially running against Assemblymembers Lisa Swain (D-Fair Lawn) and Chris Tully (D-Bergenfield).

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