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Trenton mayoral candidate Assemblyman Reed Gusciora votes at the city's Joyce Kilmer School on May 8, 2018.

The polls are open in Trenton and Newark

Runoff for Trenton mayor between Reed Gusciora and Paul Perez

By David Wildstein

The polls are now open in Trenton and Newark, where voters have until 8 PM to cast their ballots in runoff election.

Several New Jersey county political parties will hold their reorganization meetings tonight; the most competitive county chairman contests are Hudson County Democrats and Morris County Republicans.

In Trenton, Assemblyman Reed Gusciora faces businessman Paul Perez for the seat of retiring one-term mayor Eric Jackson.

Perez finished first with 2,546 votes (29%), with Gusciora edging out Deputy County Clerk Walker Worthy by 196 votes to secure the second runoff slot.  Gusciora, a twelve-term Assemblyman, received 1,833 votes (21%); Worthy got 1,637 votes (19%).  Voter turnout was about 22%.

Worthy has now endorsed Gusciora, along with Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes and other key party officials.  Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman and State Sen. Shirley Turner have also been supportive.  Jackson is backing Perez.

All four Trenton wards have runoff elections for city council.

In the West Ward, two-term incumbent Zachary Chester, the council president, barely made it to the runoff.  Robin Vaughn was the top vote-getter with 39%, and Chester (26%) edged out Dr. Shirley Gaines for the runoff slot by just ten votes.

Veteran North Ward councilwoman Marge Caldwell-Wilson finished with 47% of the vote and faces Algernon Ward (34%) in the runoff.

The East Ward seat opened earlier this year when Councilwoman Verlina Reynolds-Jackson was elected to the State Assembly.   Taiwanda Terry-Wilson (22%) will face Joseph Harrison (20%) in the runoff.  Harrison forced Reynolds-Jackson into a runoff four years ago.

In the South Ward, three-term councilman George Muschal won 47%.  He’ll now face Damian Malave (31%) in the runoff. The 69-year-old Muschal served as mayor briefly in 2014 after Tony Mack’s criminal conviction.

NEWARK

The most watched race is in the East Ward, where five-term councilman Augusto Amador faces former Newark Chief of Police Anthony Campos.  In the May election, Amador led Campos by 269 votes in a five-candidate field.

West Ward councilman Joseph McCallum received an anemic 31% in May, finishing just 111 votes ahead of Mecca Keyes in a field of six candidates.  Now it’s McCallum vs. Keyes in the runoff.

In the Central Ward, educator and community activist LaMonica McIver, who win 41% of the vote in May, faces Shawn X. McCray.

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