SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ - In a surprising upset, the Democratic ticket swept the polls in Scotch Plains on Election Tuesday, with Mayor Mary DePaola and Councilman Ed Saridaki both losing their seats.
“We are very disappointed,” said Martin Marks, Chairman of the Scotch Plains Republican Committee. “We had done some polling several weeks prior to the election and the numbers were encouraging.”
However, he credits the circumstance surrounding Hurricane Sandy as the reason why Mayor DePaola lost. “It’s a shame for her to lose because she was blamed for something she had no control over.”
Mayor DePaola was justifiably disappointed with the outcome. “I really want to emphasize that my family and I are still waiting for power, ten days after the storm. We have no heat, no light and no hot water.”
While she felt “positive” about the outcome of the election before the storm, she takes responsibility for the loss. “If you are in a leadership position and things are not going right then it’s the fault of the leader – so, yes it’s my fault this election was lost.”
Going forward Mayor DePaola’s outlook is more of a Zen nature. “I’ve been around long enough, you endure situations in your life and you move on. As long as you have your family and your health you move on past it. My concern with taking on the campaign was for all the people who donated their time away from their families, all those people who put their time and effort in- I feel bad about them. With every campaign there is one side that ends up putting a lot of effort in for nothing.”
Councilman Bo Vastine, as the last Republican Councilman, felt it was unfair of the electorate to “punish” Mary for circumstances beyond her control. “I hope Scotch Plains is ready for the reality of Kevin Glover. It will be interesting over the next four years to see if he can deliver. I am laying down the gauntlet and I will be paying close attention to what he says versus what he does.”