NJ Democrats Retain Most Of Their House Seats; Some Local Races Go To The Wire

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STATE – Republicans took control of the House of Representatives in yesterday’s mid-term elections, but Democrats will likely hang on to the Senate.

Republican Jon Runyan defeated Democrat John Adler for New Jersey’s Third District seat, 50 percent to 47 percent. However, despite strong Republican challenges in the Sixth and 12th Districts, Democrats hung on to their other seven seats in New Jersey’s Congressional delegation.

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Twelfth District Rep. Rush Holt beat Republican Scott Sipprelle to win his seventh term, 52 percent to 47 percent. Democrat Frank Pallone beat tea party-backed Republican Anna Little 54 to 44 percent in the Sixth District.

Democrats Rob Andrews (1st), Bill Pascrell Jr. (8th), Steve Rothman (9th), Donald Payne (10th) and Albio Sires (13th) were re-elected, as were Republicans Frank LoBiondo (2nd), Chris Smith (4th), Scott Garrett (5th), Leonard Lance (7th) and Rodney Frelinghuysen (11th).

Two local races for mayor are very close. In Linden, independent Mayor Richard Gerbounka has a 175-vote lead over Democrat Derek Armstead, though when only machine votes had been counted Armstead was leading 4,470 votes to 4,421. The two candidates for Council President, Democrat James D. Moore and independent John E. Miliano, are tied.

In South Amboy, with only machine votes counted, Democrat Fred Henry leads independent Mary O’Connor 1075 votes to 1061. Independents Vincent Mackiel and John Drogotta won 192 and 93 votes respectively.

Carteret Mayor Daniel Reiman handily defeated his Republican challenger Ken Freeman, 3248 votes to 1397. Councilmen Vincent Bellino and Jorge Diaz defeated their GOP opponents Kevin Urban and Regina Merritt by a similar margin.

Democratic Freeholder Rick Proctor easily defeated Republican Patrick Cassio, 4045 votes to 2526, to become Rahway’s next mayor. The Democrats’ council slate – James Baker, Sal Mione and Nancy Saliga – defeated their Republican opposition by a similar margin. Democrat Robert Rachlin beat Republican Lawrence Bodine 669 to 261 for the final two years of an unexpired term.

Highland Park Mayor Stephen Nolan, a Democrat, won re-election over independent Dominic Cerminaro, 2617 votes to 1238. South Brunswick Mayor Frank Gambatse was re-elected in a three-way race. He won 5611 votes to Republican Michael Kushwarra’s 3484 and independent Debra Johnson’s 1384. New Brunswick Mayor Jim Cahill, a Democrat, was re-elected without opposition.

In South Plainfield, Republican Matthew Anesh defeated Democrat Michael English 3476 votes to 2653 to be elected mayor. Republican Joseph Bruno defeated independent John Bonacci, 2404 votes to 1857 to be elected Berkeley Heights’ mayor. In a three-way mayor’s race in Roselle Park, Republican Joe Accardi defeated Democrat Carl Hokanson and independent Kevin Murphy, 1702 votes to 1461 and 142, respectively.

In Garwood, Republican Patricia Quattrocchi appears to have defeated Democratic Mayor Dennis McCarthy, 703 votes to 639. In New Providence, Republican J. Brooke Hern defeated independent Mayor John Thomas, 2495 votes to 1413. Republican Mayor Paul Mirabelli was unopposed in his bid for the final year of an unexpired term in Mountainside.

In Clark, Democrat Richard Kazanowski retained his seat on the Town Council, representing the Third Ward. Republicans Frank Mazzarella, Patrick O’Connor and Brian Toal were also relected, representing the township’s First, Second and Fourth wards, respectively.

In Edison, Councilman Robert Karabinchak defeated Republican Mary Lou Resner 9364 to 7229 for the final year of an unexpired term.

Elizabeth Fifth Ward Councilman Bill Gallman defeated independent challenger Marvelis Perreira 1354 votes to 474. First Ward Councilman Manny Grova beat independent challenger Carlos Trujillo 1505 to 115. The other Democrats– Nelson Gonzalez (Second Ward), Joe Keenan (Third Ward), Carlos Cedeno (Fourth Ward) and Frank Mazza (Sixth Ward) — were re-elected without opposition.

Democrats appear to have swept the four ward council seats in Linden. Richard Koziol defeated independent Brian Krupski 404 votes to 294 in the Second Ward. Peter Brown Jr. leads independent Joe Harvanik 413 votes to 362 in the Third Ward. Rhashonna Cosby-Hurling beat independent Davin Russo 665 votes to 217 in the Fifth Ward, and John Sheehy Jr. was unopposed in the Seventh Ward.

Democrats Daniel Buchanan and William Henry prevailed over Republicans Paula Siarkiewicz and Barry Giotta in the machine balloting for two seats on Sayreville’s council. Buchanan had 4328 votes, Henry had 4297, Siarkiewicz 4197, and Giotta 4104.

In South Amboy, Democrats Michael “Mickey” Gross and Joseph Connors held the lead for two council seats. Gross had 1135 votes, Connors 1014, Republican Saverio Sagliocco 982, independent Gene Reagan 751, and tea party-backed Republican David Longenhagen 680. Democrat Donald Applegate was unopposed in his bid for the final two years of a term representing the city’s First Ward.

At the county level, there were no surprises. Democrats Daniel Sullivan and Bette Jane Kowalski were re-elected to the Union County freeholder board, joined by the third member of their ticket, Linda Carter. Clerk Joanne Rajoppi and Sheriff Ralph Froehlich were also re-elected.

Middlesex County Freeholders Stephen “Pete” Dalina, Christopher Rafano and Blanquita Valenti, Clerk Elaine Flynn were easily re-elected, while Mildred Scott defeated Republican Keith Hackett for Sheriff to complete the Democrats’ sweep.

Voter overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the state constitution that would prohibit politicians from taking money paid into New Jersey’s unemployment insurance trust fund and using it for other purposes.


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