Municipal elections have started in the state, and candidates in some of the state’s cities are breathing a sigh of relief as campaigns come to a close.
That’s unlikely to be the case in Trenton, where a field of seven candidates vying to replace retiring Mayor Eric Jackson all but guarantees the race will go to a runoff in June.
So far, the morning’s slow but steady turnout seems to be picking up slightly, though there is a distinct lack of lines at polling stations in a city that, historically, tends to see low voter turnout.
Among the race’s front-runners are Paul Perez, last cycle’s runner up, Mercer County Deputy Clerk Walker Worthy, who finished in third place in 2014 and now has the support of much of Trenton’s political establishment, and veteran Assemblyman Reed Gusciora.
Also running are councilmen Alex Bethea and Duncan Harrison – the latter making his run with the backing of Trenton power broker Bill Watson, the brother of U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman – local activist Darren “Freedom” Green and former Councilwoman Annette Lartigue.
Gusciora cast his vote at about 9 a.m. at Trenton’s Joyce Kilmer School, where Bethea and a number of the city’s Council candidates will vote later in the day.