Marge Caldwell-Wilson will not seek re-election to a fourth term to Trenton’s North Ward city council seat, creating another open seat on what has become New Jersey’s most dysfunctional governing body.
“My decision has been guided by both personal and professional reasons,” said Caldwell-Wilson. “I have always tried to give my all to any issue, cause, or vote on Council, and now it is time to pass the baton, with hope that fresh ideas and perspectives will be brought to the table.”
Caldwell-Wilson has faced sharp criticism in what will be her final term after failing to stand up to homophobic and anti-Semitic statements made by some of her allies on the city council.
A longtime Caldwell-Wilson rival, Algernon Ward, Jr. and former Trenton Public Works Director Merkle Cherry are in the race to succeed her, along with Divine Allah, a controversial supporter of embattled Council President Kathy McBride.
Also in the race is Trenton Republican Municipal Chair Jennifer Williams, who would become the first openly transgender elected official in New Jersey. As a State Assembly candidate in a heavily Democratic district in 2019, Williams had run one of the best campaigns in the state.
Local elections in Trenton are non-partisan.
A retired state employee and former CWA Local 1087 president, Caldwell-Wilson was first elected to the city council in 2010.
Four years ago, she was forced into a runoff after leading Ward by 240 votes, 46% to 34%, in the May election. Caldwell-Wilson won the runoff by 592 votes, 65%-35%..