Trenton Democratic Committee chairwoman Raissa Walker was reelected on Monday in a 31 to 17 vote over challenger David Ponton.
Walker, who has chaired the committee since the former chair was removed over financial discrepancies in 2012, was grateful for the victory but was not unconcerned about the margin – her opponent received more than a third of the votes.
“Absolutely,” Walker said when asked if the margin worried her. “I talked to my opponent and said that I want to continue to work and address the concerns that you have. I don’t take anything for granted. I don’t want those people that did not vote for me to think that they no longer have a voice because I want to be their advocate as well.”
Whether or not that becomes the case will rely on how well Walker addresses the concerns raised by Ponton’s run.
While she won’t get any trouble from Ponton during her current term – the two had a conversation after the vote in which Ponton said he was offered a seat on the committee’s executive board – the unrest could boil over the next time Walker’s seat comes up for election.
“I believe the Trenton democratic committee needs to be a little more consistent,” Ponton said. “The meetings need to be on a consistent basis. The committeewomen and committeemen need to be trained, and the wards need to be built up so that the wards can be autonomous but report to the committee as a whole.”
If Walker addresses those points, there may be little need for Ponton or another committee member sharing his concerns to run in 2020.
Further, there wasn’t any blood drawn in this small-scale intraparty fight. Both candidates said they would work with one another after the vote, and unlike a certain race in Hudson County, no knives came out during the contest.
Walker works for Mercer County as the director of personnel. Ponton is a veteran community activist who helped organize an effort to recall mayor Tony Mack.