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Hamilton Mayor Kelly Yaede

Yaede slate sweeps Hamilton GOP primary

Incumbent defeats county-backed challenger

By David Wildstein, June 04 2019 10:44 pm

Hamilton Mayor Kelly Yaede won a landslide 40-point victory  over county-backed challenger Dave Henderson Tuesday.

Yaede beat Henderson 2,604-1,397.

Her council running mates, Richard Balgowan and Vincent Capodanno, also beat those running on Henderson’s slate.

Balgowan got 2,061 votes, while Capodanno got 2,170.

Henderson’s candidates, Cynthia Simon and William Argust, got 1,228 and 1,121 votes, respectively.

A fifth candidate, Tony Celentano won 832 votes.

Yaede face Hamilton Council President Jeff Martin in November.

Democrats Pat Papero, Jr. and Nancy Phillips won on the Democratic side, earning 1,648 and 1,858 votes to JoAnna Bruno’s 930.

There’s a story behind how Henderson, a fierce critic of Yaede’s administration won the county line.

Hamilton’s Republican municipal committee backed Yaede and her running mates, Vinnie Capodanno and Richard Balgowan, but Mercer County Republican Chairwoman Lisa Richford overruled them and awarded the line to Yaede’s challenger.

Yaede’s campaign attempted to block the Richford’s decision, but the county counsel told Mercer County Clerk Paula Sollami Covello that Richford, as chair of the MCRC, could withhold consent candidates need to use the slogan owned by the county party.

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