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Montclair Deputy Mayor Sean Spiller. Photo by Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe

Sean Spiller elected Montclair mayor

Spiller council slate wins 4 of 5 seats

By Nikita Biryukov, May 12 2020 8:47 pm

Sean Spiller, the influential vice president of the New Jersey Education Association, was elected Mayor of Montclair on Tuesday, defeating Renee Baskerville by a vote of 4,027 to 3,577, 53%-47%.

The incumbent, Robert Jackson, did not seek re-election.

Spiller, who gave up his township council seat to run, carried four of his slate’s of five council candidates — at-large Councilor Robert Russo, 1st Ward Councilor William Hurlock, 2nd Ward Councilor Robin Schlager and Lori Price Abrams — to victory.

Roger Terry, who sought an open at-large council seat, was defeated by Peter Yacobellis, a former aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who ran on Baskerville’s slate, 3,381 to 3,728.

Russo finished second with 3,640 votes, winning another term as the town’s other at-large councilor.

Terry ran for the seat held by at-large Councilor Rich McMahon, who did not seek re-election, while Price Abrams won the 3rd Ward seat Spiller gave up in his bid to replace retiring mayor Robert Jackson.

David Cummings, who ran unopposed for Baskerville’s 4th Ward seat, won his seat without contest.

The others on her slate were at-large candidate James Cotter, John Hearn (1st Ward), Chrissy Thomas (2nd Ward) and Maggie Joralemon (3rd Ward).

Schlager defeated Thomas 1,251-876. Abrams beat Joralemon 963-729,  and Hurlock won 1,246 votes to Hearn’s 795.

An order issued by Gov. Phil Murphy that required non-partisan municipal races be held entirely through mail-in ballots to prevent COVID-19 from spreading at polling places appears to have boosted turnout in the town of roughly 38,000.

Just 2,036 voters showed up to the polls in 2016, when the town’s mayoral race and five of its six council seats were uncontested.

Carmel Loughman also ran for an at-large council seat as an independent and finished last with 1,098 votes.

Baskerville gave up her council seat to run for mayor.

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