Home>Local>Somerset>Somerset: Dems may take majority in Watchung. Republicans win 2 seats in Bound Brook. Dems take full control in Montgomery. Dems may lose 2 seats in South Bound Brook. GOP holds Raritan, Bridgewater, Warren, Hillsborough, Bernardsville. Mystery write-in candidate wins in Rocky Hill

Somerset: Dems may take majority in Watchung. Republicans win 2 seats in Bound Brook. Dems take full control in Montgomery. Dems may lose 2 seats in South Bound Brook. GOP holds Raritan, Bridgewater, Warren, Hillsborough, Bernardsville. Mystery write-in candidate wins in Rocky Hill

By Nikita Biryukov, November 06 2019 5:09 am

Rocky Hill: Two Democratic council candidates ran unopposed in this sleepy town of 682, but the more interesting race is for an unexpired council term that no one filed for.

Residents cast 107 write-in votes for that race, though those names aren’t being reported yet.

Councilwoman Rasheeda Pretto was appointed to that seat last year but decided to run alongside Jenn Walsh for a full three-year term instead of mounting a bid in the special election.

Because write-in candidates must be registered voters, whoever gets elected to fill the vacant seat must be a person.

Bridgewater: Council President Matthew Moench was elected Bridgewater mayor Tuesday, defeating Democratic school board member Jeffrey Brookner 6,380-4,411.

Moench defeated incumbent Republican mayor Dan Hayes in a primary. Bridgewater Republicans voted to give Moench the party line, but the Somerset County Republicans handed it to Hayes instead.

Libertarian candidate Gregg Mele got 242 votes.

Moench’s running mates, Michael Kirsh and Timothy Ring easily defeated their Democratic challengers, John Arcoleo and Patti Selikoff.

Kirsh got 6,299 votes, while Ring got 6,238.

The two Republicans defeated incumbent Councilwoman Christine Rose Henderson in the primary.

Arcoleo and Selikoff got 4,496 and 4,546 votes, respectively.

Warren: Republican Jolanta Maziarz will replace legendary eight-term township committeewoman Carolann Garafola on the township committee.

The first-time candidate defeated Democrat John Patrick Fahy 1,697-1,066.

Independent candidate Rick dePinho got 690 votes.

Manville: Republican Mayor Richard Onderko easily won a second term over Councilman Philip Petrone Tuesday, defeating the Democrat 1,316-676.

The Republicans also picked up a Council seat.

Democratic Councilman Ronald Skirkanish finished last in the race with 730 votes. His running mate Roberta Walters ran just 10 votes ahead of him.

Republicans Ted Petrock III and Suzanne Maeder got 1,200 and 1,238 votes, respectively.

Hillsborough: Mayor Frank Delcore won re-election Tuesday, defeating Democrat Jeffrey Wright 4,926-4,124.

Bernardsville: Republicans won both council seats here, keeping the borough council at an even 3-3 split.

Jena McCredie, an IT director at Novartis, and Housing, Property and Zoning Compliance Committee Chairman Chad McQueen, the Republicans, won 1,256 and 1,265 votes, respectively.

Their Democratic opponents, longtime soccer coach Kerry Haselton and former Councilman Peter Birnbaum, got 961 and 952 votes.

Watchung: Democrats are poised to win back a majority on the Watchung council after winning two seats and a mayorship here last year.

Democrats Pete Martino and Wendy Robinson narrowly lead their Republican opponents, Councilman George Sopko and Amber Murad, who is running to replace retiring Councilman William Nehls.

Martino got 910 votes, while Robinson received 920.

Sopko had 893 ballots cast in his name, while Murad got 898.

That puts Robinson out of recount range, though not by much. Martino, however, ran less than half a point ahead of both Republicans.

Bound Brook: Republicans narrowly swept the town’s mayoral and council races Tuesday.

Mayor Robert Fazen defeated Democratic Council President 901-791 for a second term.

Democratic Councilmen Anthony Pranzatelli and Robert Dixon both ran behind their Republican challengers, Richard Jannuzzi and Jake Hardin.

Jannuzzi, the top vote-getter, had 888 ballots cast in his name. Hardin got 842 votes, while Pranzatelli got 793 and Dixon got 771.

Montgomery: Democrats won both council seats up for election this year, giving the party full control over the town’s legislative body.

Democrat Kent Huang got 2,605 votes, while his running mate, Devra Keenan, got 2,528.

Incumbents Ed Trzaska and Kamran Quraishi got 2,003 and 1,795 votes, respectively.

South Bound Brook: Democrats kept the mayorship here, but they may lose both council races.

Mayor Chris Shoffner beat Republican Silvia Vega-Santos 459-383.

Republican Councilwoman Kathryn Kelly won re-election with 445 votes, but it’s not yet clear who will get the second seat up this year.

Democratic Councilwoman Kathleen Conner finished second with 420 votes, but she ran just four votes ahead of Republican Bruce Blumenthal.

Conner’s running mate, Roy Ramnarine, finished last with 387.

Bedminster: Republicans easily won council races here.

Councilman Douglas Stevinson won re-election with 1,250 votes, while Gina Lisa-Fernandez won 1,215.

Democrats Zaheer Jan and Jeffrey Beyer won 848 and 863 votes, respectively.

Franklin: Democrats scored landslide wins here, sweeping the town’s three council races and securing a second term for Mayor Phillip Kramer.

Kramer beat Beverly Briggs-Lawson 8,909-3,208.

Incumbent Councilwoman Crystal Pruitt got 8,572 votes, while Councilwoman Kimberly Francois got 7,454, and Democratic newcomber Sivaraman Anbarasan got 8,198.

Republican challengers Sam Velu, Noah Fofanah and Christina Ganzer-Zambri got 3,203, 3,191 and 3,313 votes, respectively.

Branchburg: Republican incumbents easily won re-election in State Sen. Kip Bateman’s hometown.

Councilman Thomas Young got 2,216 votes, while Councilman Robert Petrelli got 2,189.

Democratic challenger Peter Nejad got 1,319 votes, and his running mate Monica Lazer got 1,386.

Far Hills: Two Davids, both Republican incumbents, won council races in this sleepy town of less than 1,000.

Councilman David Karner got 173 votes, while Councilman David Robert Surks got 153.

Democratic Municipal Chair Johanna McCarten got 86 votes, and Amy Pressler got 93.

Green Brook: Former Mayor Gerard Searfoss defeated former Mayor Linda Bolton, 888-627, to win a seat on the township committee.

Raritan: Republicans kept complete control over the government here despite a Democratic registration advantage.

Republican Zachary Bray defeated Democrat Pablo Orozco, 954-638, to win the town’s mayorship.

Incumbent Mayor Chuck McMullin did not seek re-election.

Councilmen Paul Giraldi got 865 votes, while Councilman Nicolas Carra got 883.

Their Democratic challengers, Melissa Harris and Dianne Bautista got 674 and 690 votes, respectively.

Somerville: Democrats kept complete control of Somerville’s government, sweeping three council races and winning the town’s mayorship uncontested.

Incumbents Jane Kobuta, 1,534, and Roger Vroom, 1,448, waved off challenges from Republicans Paul Caraldi, 949, and Hank Werner, 1,044.

Councilman Granville defeated Mario Haddad, 1,498-985, for an unexpired term.


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