STATE – Although New Jersey voters rejected Gov. Jon Corzine, Tuesday proved to be a good day for many incumbents on the ballot.
Democrats maintained control of the state Assembly, with every incumbent winning re-election. Republicans did win a small victory, picking up an open seat in the Fourth District.
Democrats held onto unanimous control of the freeholder boards in Middlesex and Union counties.
Middlesex Freeholders H. James Polos and Ronald G. Rios were re-elected, with nearly 8,000 votes separating them from their nearest Republican challenger. Carol Barrett won a special election for the remaining two years of late Freeholder David Crabiel’s term, earning over 16,000 more votes than her Republican challenger.
In Union County, Freeholders Alexander Mirabella and Deborah Scanlon easily won re-election, earning over 8,000 votes more than their closest Republican challenger. Mohamed S. Jalloh, the party’s pick to replace retiring Freeholder Chester Holmes, did not have the advantage of incumbency but still polled 4,700 more votes than the closest Republican.
In Plainfield, Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs beat out her opponents, Republican Jim Pivnichny and independent candidate Deborah Dowe, by a nearly two-to-one margin. Westfield Mayor Andrew K. Skibitsky, a Republican, beat his Democratic challenger William L. Brennan, by a nearly three-to-one margin.
In an exception to the trend toward incumbents in local races, Republicans took control in Middlesex Borough for the first time in more than a decade. Former councilman Robert Sherr unseated Democrat John Fuhrmann to take the mayor’s office. Republicans also picked up two council seats to gain a 4-2 majority.
In Edison, Democrat Antonia Ricigliano defeated Republican Dennis Pipala by over 4,000 votes to become the township’s first female mayor.
Woodbridge voters returned all five incumbents – including four Democrats – to the township council despite supporting Chris Christie for governor.
Councilman Charles Kenney won re-election in the First Ward over Republican John Vrtaric with 2,437 votes to 2,051. Second Ward Councilman Richard A. Dalina easily won a fifth term with 2,318 votes over Republican Steve Loukeris’ 1,218 votes. Third Ward Councilman Greg Bedard won a landslide victory with 2,025 votes over Republican Stacy DiPalma, who got 965. In the Fourth Ward, Councilman James Major beat Republican Nutan Kalamdani 2,882 votes to 1,389.
In the Fifth Ward race, Woodbridge Republicans enjoyed their only victory. Councilman Robert Luban defeated Democrat Maureen MacArthur 2,904 votes to 2,289.
In Carteret, incumbent Democrat Joseph “Skippy” Sitarz and his running mate, Democrat newcomer Dennis DiMascio, won the borough council races. Sitarz received 2,314 votes and DiMascio won 2,373, compared to Republican challengers Ken Freeman and John Nartowicz, Jr., who received 1,672 votes and 1,590 votes, respectively.
In Linden, incumbent Councilman Robert Frazier defeated Democrat Bryan Tomko in the Ninth Ward City Council race. Frazier, an independent, defeated Tomko by an unofficial vote of 736 to 576. Democratic First Ward Councilman Christopher Kolibas ran unopposed and received 514 votes.
Councilman Richard E. Weber Jr., and Democrat Sheri-Rose Rubin, a political newcomer, won seats on Metuchen’s Borough Council, maintaining a 4-3 majority for the Democrats. Weber received 2,643 votes and Rubin received 2,594 votes. Joe Vassalo, the lone Republican in the race, received 2,032 votes.
Republicans Frank Bella and Nicholas J. Perrette won two open seats on Sayreville’s Borough Council, earning 5,549 and 5,284 votes respectively. Democrat Dennis C. Grobelny received 4,319 votes and Democrat Thomas V. Pollando received 4,127 votes.
South Amboy Democrat William J. Schwarick, running uncontested in a special election for the Third Ward City Council seat, won 493 votes.
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