Richardson, Southward Challenge Political Insiders

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LINDEN — Competition for control of the city’s educational system will be decided on a Wednesday this year, as the annual school election has been set for April 27.

In Linden, two mothers with children in the public schools are vying against two incumbents who are part of the city’s political establishment.


Charlette Richardson and Carmen Sanchez Southward have been endorsed by Mayor Richard Gerbounka and Councilman Derek Armstead, the two contenders in last fall’s mayoral election.

Gerbounka and Armstead are viewed as reformers who want to get politics out of the city’s school system.

Richardson is a paralegal and licensed real estate broker who has been a taxpaying resident of Linden for over 20 years.

Southward is an administrator with the Elizabeth Board of Education, which recently earned the distinction of being the state’s top urban school district.

Richardson and Southward are challenging political insiders Brian Russell and Louis Scaldino, who have consistently produced higher taxes and extensive patronage appointments during their tenure.

Southward and her husband have an eight-year-old daughter who attends School 10.

“Linden needs dedicated citizens who are concerned about taxpayers and want to take serious action to assure that our children get the best possible education,” said Southward.

“Being a mother of two is the most important part of my resume.” said Richardson, whose child is a 9th grader attending Linden High School.

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