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Township Hall in Teaneck, New Jersey. (Photo: Township of Teaneck).

Teaneck turnout already at 25%

Six-way race for two seats, two incumbents retiring

By David Wildstein, May 11 2020 7:32 pm

Turnout in Teaneck’s all-VBM non-partisan municipal election tomorrow is high, with 25% of voters returning ballots as of this morning.

Two rival slates are seeking three seats on the township council in a hotly contested race that has already drawn 7,739 vote-by-mail ballots – more than were cast in the 2016 (6,469) and 2018 municipal elections.

More arrived at the Bergen County Board of Elections today, and additional votes are expected to be cast tomorrow.  Any ballots postmarked by 8 PM tomorrow will be counted, as long as they arrive at the county election office by close of business on Thursday.

Deputy Mayor Mark Schwartz is the only incumbent seeking re-election.  He’s on a “Moving Teaneck Forward” ticket with two planning board members: Michael Pagan, a former Frank Lautenberg staffer who is now the Bergen County public information officer; and Karen Orgen, a former Teaneck Volunteer Ambulance Corps president.

Schwartz is seeking his third term on the council.  He was one of three Teaneck councilmen to endorse Republican Gov. Chris Christie in 2013.

They face the “People for Progress” slate of Board of Education President Ardie Walser, planning board member Denise Belcher, and Democratic county committeewoman Gina Gerszberg.

Mayor Mohammed Hameeduddin and Councilman Henry Pruitt are not seeking re-election.  Hameeduddin was elected in 2008 and Pruitt, a onetime school board president, in 2012.

The May 12 election could be a fight for control of local government, if the “People for Progress” slate wins and forges an alliance with Councilwoman Gervonn Romney Rice.

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