(ORANGE, NEW JERSEY) - Earlier this month, we reported the crowded field of candidates running in the May 12th Orange Mayor and Council municipal election. There are six people certified to run for mayor and eleven for only three at-large council seats. Due to COVID-19, registered voters will only be allowed to vote by mail in this election. The deadline to register to vote is April 8th. People on probation or parole are now eligible to vote.

In an attempt to develop a profile for our readers of who is running in Orange and why, TAPinto East Orange/Orange reached out to each candidate at the same time using the e-mail addresses they provided the Township Clerk upon filing to run. We asked them to answer questions regarding their background, plans, and qualifications for Orange.* 

Responsive Non-Responsive
Candidates for Mayor Candidates for Mayor
Christopher G. Jackson  Dwayne D. Warren 
Donna K. Williams Michael Jean Baptiste 
Candidates for Council  Rayfield R. Morton
Antoinett A. Hall  Shawn D. Hunter
Joseph M. Juliano Candidates for Council 
Weldon M. Montague, III  Adrienne K. Wooten
Coram J. Rimes, Jr.  Clifford R. Ross
  Dwight E. Holmes
  Edward Marable, Jr.*
  Kenneth Toussaint
  Lynval H. James
  Quantavia Hilbert 

Beginning with those running as a team followed by other responsive candidates by office sought and alphabetical order, read about the candidates and what they want Orange voters to know before the May 12th election:

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DONNA K. WILLIAMS

Office Sought: Mayor of City of Orange Twp.

Team: Team Orange NJ 2020

Short bio: Donna K. Williams is a lifelong resident of Orange and a member of the Class of 1985 of Orange High School. She is the current Vice President and Councilmember-At-Large for the Orange Township City Council. On council, she has been responsible for numerous community driven initiatives including affirmative action contracting for women, minorities, and vets. Donna understands duty to people and country as a military veteran of the United States Air Force.

Why she is running for office: Donna K. Williams is running to be the Mayor of the City of Orange Township, NJ because she firmly believes “Everything rises and falls on leadership”- (John C. Maxwell) and the current executive leadership in Orange makes decisions in a vacuum without much community input; lack of public involvement in this very public role has caused much unrest, distrust, and questioning whether Orange has effective leadership. Donna K. Williams is running to bring more of her proven leadership skills, compassion for the citizens and experience as an effective legislator and community organizer to the executive branch for the people of Orange.

Qualifications: Donna K. Williams is a passionate and native resident of the City of Orange Township. She is in her 12th year as Councilwoman and has a well-documented “citizens first agenda;” She has also been a member of various community boards. Donna’s experience covers finance, business development, recreation, labor and education both in the public and private sectors.

Specific Plans:

  1. Donna K. Williams will increase civic engagement through a transparent agenda and an open city hall.
    1. Ward Boards for effective two-way communication between City Hall and the citizens leveraging technology and social media.
  2. Donna K. Williams will develop an inclusive economic agenda working with citizens, business community, developers and legislators.
    1. Immediately create a beautification task force

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ANTOINETT A. HALL

Office Sought: Councilwoman At-Large

Team: Team Orange NJ 2020

Short Bio: Antoinett Hall holds multiple degrees in general science and is currently pursuing double majors at Bloomfield College, and was elected the Orange Democratic County Committee leader and secretary.

She previously held a seat on the Orange Rent Leveling Committee and now sits on the City of Orange Budget Committee, along with the Zoning Board of Adjustments. She is the PTO president at Park Avenue School, the Orange Education Association’s union representative, and the Orange Education Association’s PRIDE and F.A.S.T chairwoman and a grant writer for the Orange School District; she mentors a sisterhood group, is a proud army mom, advocate, and voice for the children and community of Orange, NJ.

Why she is running for office: Unlike many of my opponents, I’m not running just because I’M RUNNING FOR THE CAUSE; I want to put myself in a position to make an impact on my community in a way that I would not be able to in other capacities. This position is unique because it allows me to be an active part of legislation.

Qualifications: What qualifies me to hold this position are my years of experience in the government and my life experiences which include being a citizen, an active parent in this community, as well as my passion and drive for civic engagements.

Plans: When I am elected, I plan to help assist in the areas of writing legislation to improve our community’s social and economic infrastructures and create grants for programs that are needed for our city based off my years of knowledge and experience. I plan to implement legislation to have inclusive parks and recreations for the children and community at large while bridging the gap between senior citizens and high school students by having forums where they can discuss and learn from each other. I plan to cater to our diverse population by implementing an “each one, teach one” mentality, where different ethnicities will teach each other their chosen languages.

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WELDON MONTAGUE III

Office Sought: Councilman At-Large      

Team: Team Orange NJ 2020

Short Bio: Weldon Montague III, is a lifetime resident of Orange NJ. He is a product of the City of Orange School System a graduate from Orange High School who went on to earn a college degree from Morgan State University. Weldon Montague III is married to Grace Shim Montague and they have two adult children.

Why he is running for office: Weldon Montague III is running for office because the City of Orange has given him so much. Weldon is tired of sitting in the background wishing things would get better. Rather than waiting for change, Weldon wants to be part of that change. He wants to be the voice of the people in Orange who don’t have a voice.

Qualifications: Weldon Montague III has 25 years of community service and 20 years of managerial experience.  He is a proven leader and has assisted the Orange Community with various resources over the past 25 years. 

Plans: Weldon Montague III will be an advocate for all Senior Citizens, affordable housing, and job readiness/placement programs for our youth by working closely with the Orange Board of Education to ensure that our students are equipped with all the tools needed to succeed. While encouraging new businesses to come to Orange make sure there will always be a place for home-grown small businesses in our great town and jobs, Weldon will fight to protect city worker’s pensions, and will support their collective bargaining rights for better wages and benefits. Weldon Montague III will not waste your hard earned tax dollars and will be fiscally sound making sure the city budget is accountable, answerable, reliable and trusted because financial discipline is not an enemy to a Democrat.

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CHRISTOPHER JACKSON

Office Sought: Mayor of City of Orange Twp.

Team: Councilman Jackson is running without ties to any other team.

Short Bio: Christopher Jackson was born in Orange in 1961 and attended public school there from prekindergarten through high school before progressing to Morgan State University, DeVry Institute of Technology (A.S.E.E.T.), Barry University (B.L.S.) and the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida (J.D.), a veteran of the United States Air Force and Air Force Reserve. Since 2003, Councilman Jackson served on the Citizens' Budget Advisory Committee and the Zoning Board of Adjustment prior to his election, and was the council's representative on the Planning Board.  As a Tornado for life, he is a member of the Big O Booster Club, an organization that awards college scholarships to student athletes from Orange High School that achieve academically as well as athletically.

Why he is running: Councilman Jackson is running because he wants to perform the hard work the job requires – not just hold the title – and because his beloved hometown deserves to have a person of integrity in position to remove the cloud of inept or unlawful decisions, as verified through federal investigations, guilty pleas, and court decisions following litigation between two of its branches of government.  Councilman Jackson is also running because his experience in other capacities as a public servant in Orange has prepared him to work effectively with Orange's municipal employees – including its business administrator –and the city council to continue and facilitate the progress being made since he was elected in 2016.

Qualifications: Councilman Jackson is qualified to be the next mayor of Orange because the combination of his experience as a public servant, accompanied by the basic moral standard of unyielding integrity, prepares him for setting the standard of conduct needed in a municipal official who seeks to do things the right way – just what Orange needs now.  His experience as a lawyer prepared him to consider all sides of circumstances and to read and understand a high volume of documents; his military experience taught him that well-formed plans and instructions helps the obligated to work better together; his technical experience taught him to be persistent and logical in finding solutions to difficult challenges; his teaching experience taught him that communication works best if it is interactive; and his experience as a manager taught him that delegation with accountability makes favoritism less likely and improves morale.

Specific Plans: Councilman Jackson will set the standard for a work ethic that is absent today, in that he will make shady activity unacceptable – period – and hold everyone accountable for their actions and interactions with the public.  He will elevate the best interest of Orange to a higher level of focus as a principle for functioning, and rehabilitate the morale of employees who feel they've been treated unfairly or who feel their work is unappreciated and unrecognized. Improve the relationship between the mayor and the council by attending their meetings and facing the public together; bring appropriate development, enhance the relationship between the citizens and its schools by highlighting the achievements of its students, and celebrate common ties– for the Love of Orange.

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JOSEPH JULIANO

Office Sought: City Council-At-Large

Team: Not answered.

Short bio: Many accolade documents and proclamations were submitted, please contact Joseph if you want copies.

Why he is running: "Getting Orange Back on Track” Orange New Jersey has an awesome opportunity for redevelopment of our New York DIRECT TRAIN STATIONS. 

Plans: Through opportunity zones will encourage women and minority businesses to prosper and flourish.  Abandoned and vacant properties will create new tax credit proposals & grants will create a new Neighborhood where Orange Residents can live and work. Vote for Dr. Joseph M. Juliano for Orange City Council May 12, 2020.

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CORAM J. RIMES, Jr.

Office Sought: City Council-At-Large

Team: Not answered.

Short Bio: Orange resident for 35 years, retired corporate executive for 41 years, business owner of Jaelin Management Personal Income Tax business and an Adjunct Instructor at Rutgers School of Government.  Orange Housing Authority Commissioner since 2008, and previously served as City Council-At-Large in Orange from 2000 to 2008.  Master’s Degree in Computer Science from NYU/Poly and Master’s in Public Administration from Rutgers University. 

Why he is running: I am running to make positive changes in the City of Orange and to be a voice for all the citizens in Orange. I am dedicated to maintaining oversight and critical thinking within government to ensure balanced budgets and strategic plans for a stable future.

Qualifications: My prior experience in City government, private sector as well numerous non-profit boards that I have served and continue to serve on have afforded me with a unique perspective. As a business owner I have learned what it takes to be successful.

Specific Plans: I plan to continue to be a critical, positive and forward thinker and doer for the City of Orange.  It is extremely important to be an effective communicator while proactively working with the City Administration, the citizens and the community to achieve the very best for Orange, NJ.   

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**In an attempt to develop a profile for our readers of who is running and why, we asked them to submit to us by Friday, March 13, 2020, 2 PM to YourNews@tapinto.net the following:

  • Head shots;   
  • Short bios (3 sentences max); 
  • The office they are seeking; 
  • Name of their team they are running with (if any); 
  • Why they are running for office (2 sentences max); 
  • What qualifies them to hold office (2 sentences max); 
  • Specific details about what they plan to do for the City if they win (3 sentences max). 

***EDITOR'S NOTE: Article has been updated to include the new vote by mail information, and to move Edward Marble, Jr. from a since deleted category that he was listed in titled, "Declined to Participate" into the "Unresponsive" category as his request.

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