Democrats win most local contests in Union County

Angie Devanney has been elected mayor in Berkeley Heights. She is the wife of former Union County Manager George Devanney and a former Township Administrator in the typically Republican community.

Devanney, a Democrat, defeated the GOP’s Robert Woodruff with 2,806 votes to 2,603, a margin big enough to carry council candidates Stephen Yellin and Alvaro Medeiros into office on her coattails.

Mayor Derek Armstead, who faced off a serious primary challenge in Linden, easily batted away two independent contenders, John Principato, a 53-year-old retired firefighter who runs a construction company and served 36 months in state prison for selling drugs.

Principato denied having a criminal recors but said that the conviction was expunged and asmitted, “I was arrested. It was a marijuana charge and I did some time.”

Armstead’s sister, Lisa Ormon was unopposed for her 1st Ward Council seat, Councilwoman Michele Yamakaitis was elected Council President wiithout opposition and 9th Ward Councilman Armando Medina was also unopposed.

Armstead supported school board candidates Patrick Gargano, Doris Johnson and Marianthe Manganello, who soundly defeated Kyle Holder, Tanya Grissett and incumbent Theresa Villani.

Four Democrats were soundly defeated in in Clark, where Republican Councilmen Patrick O’Connor, Frank Mazzarella, Steve Hund and Brian Toal were easily re-elected.

Democratic incumbent Thomas H. Hannen, Jr. crushed Republican Richard Buontempo’s bid for a seat on the Cranford Township Committee.

In Elizabeth, the six Democrats who were re-elected to the council without opposition are: Carlos Torres, Nelson Gonzalez, Kevin Kiniery, Carlos Cedeño, William Gallman, Jr., and Frank O. Mazza.

Fanwood Councilwoman Erin McElroy-Barker and newcomer Patricia Walsh are Democrats elected to the borough council

Third-term Democratic Councilwoman Sara Todisco successfully challenged 3-term Garwood Mayor Charles Lombardo in the Democratic primary, and now she fended off Republican Ileen Cuccaro.

Democrats Michael Ince, a former FBI special agent for 24 years, and Sean Benoit, a staff attorney at Disability Rights New Jersey, will join the Garwood council in January.

Incumbent Kenilworth Councilmen Gerard Laudati and Robert Schielke stopped Republicans Carmen Bucco and Sean Pentz.

Republicans Councilman Robert W. Messler and Councilwoman Rachel Pater, withstood a challenge from Democrats Anjali Mehrotra and Ileana Montes to keep their seats in Mountainside.

In New Providence, Republican Mayor Allen Morgan faced no opposition for re-election. Two Republican Councilmen, Gary Kapner and Jim Madden did not seek re-election but GOP newcomers Matthew Cumiskey and Peter DeSarno brushed away Democratic candidates Rupa Kale and John F.X. Keane.

Plainfield Councilman Elton Armady, a Democrat, scored a 4:1 victory over independent Ronald Johnson. Democrat Ashley Davis was unopposed for another council seat.

Rahway Mayor Raymond Giacobbe, Jr. and council members James Baker, Jeremy Mojica, Joanne Miles, Giacobbe all Democrats, were also unopposed.

So were Roselle council Democrats Brandon Bernier, in the 2nd ward, and John Fortuna, in the 5th ward.

Roselle Park Mayor Carl Hokanson came in third, behind Third Ward Councilman William Fahoury in second place and victorious Democrat Joseph Signorello III, a 30-year-old newcomer to politics whose great grandfather opened the popular tavern, Frenchy’s.

Democrats Alex Keiser and Chris Weber will join the Springfield Township committee in January.

Democrats Elizabeth C. Stamler, Roshan M. White, and Joshua G. Losardo each won four-year seats on the Scotch Plains Township Council, beating Republicans Andrew Bondarowicz, Sonali Dalvi, and Jeff Kowalczyk.

Summit Democrats B. David Naidu and Gregory S. Vartan III swept the 1st and 2nd Ward Council races.

Democratic Union Township Committee incumbents Michele Desifort and Manuel Figueriedo ran roughshod over Republicans Justin Verzosa and Karen Slawson.

Winfield Mayor Gary Genz was unopposed for re-election to the township committee.

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