BERNARDS TWP., NJ _ The Bernards Township Democratic and Republican organizations have endorsed their candidates for this year's Township Committee race. Dr. Sophia Chadda has been endorsed as this year's Democratic candidate, and Janice Fields is the Republican's chosen candidate.

The Bernards Township Republican committee had interviewed Fields and Al LiCata on Monday night, March 18, said Rich Bianchi, chairman of the GOP committee. "They both provided positive vision and strong energy for the future of Bernards Township," he said. He said that Fields was endorsed in the end, and the party will support her in the months ahead.

Chadda, a peridontist with a dental practice in Bernards Township, and longtime resident of the township, was endorsed by the Bernards Township Democratic committee, according to a release this week from the Democratic committee.

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Chadda is a participant in Leadership Somerset, a county program that supports leaders dedicated to their local communities. Locally, she has served on the Bernards Township Board of Health. She also volunteers at the local public and private schools that her children attend. She also is a trustee of the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge.

“As a local business owner, practicing dentist, and parent of students in elementary school, high school, and college, I have a broad perspective,” Chadda said. “With my STEM background, I employ a fact- and evidence-based approach to solving problems and making decisions. She added she wants to foster greater communication between elected officials and residents of the town, and to work with her neighbors "to improve our future together." She was endorsed by the Democratic committee on March 11.

Fields is a 27-year resident of Bernards Township where she resides with her husband Barry and their twin sons Avery and Jeremy, both graduates of Ridge High School.

“I have reached a point in my life where I want to give back more to the community that has provided a wonderful life to me and my family over the past 27 years. Everyone who lives here knows that Bernards Township is a great place to live, work and raise a family. For this reason, I have decided the best way to give back to my community is through dedicated public service and seeking the Republican nomination for Bernards Township Committee,” Fields said in a release last month.

In the past, Fields has served on the Bernards Township Beautification and Dewy Meadow Task Forces, as well as the Society Hill Condominium Community Board and Cell Phone Tower Task Force. She was active in her sons’ schools serving as a class mother and has served as Bernards Township Girl Scout Leader. In 2016, Fields founded, and still organizes, the Bernards Township First Responders Appreciation Night. She also is past member of the board of the Somerset County Office on Aging where her focus was helping senior citizens.

Presently, she serves as Chair on the Somerset County Commission on the Status of Women. In addition to serving as Chair on the Commission, she spearheads STEM programs for young girls, cultural engagement events for professional woman, and the effort in selecting recipients for the annual “Outstanding Women of Somerset County Award.”

Deadline to file to be included on June primary ballot

The deadline is Monday, April 1, for the filing of petitions to nominate candidates to be included on the June 4 primary election.

Petitions for candidates for Bernards Township Committee should be filed before 4 p.m. in the municipal clerk's office at the municipal building at 1 Collyer Lane in Basking Ridge.

One three-year term on the Bernards Township Committee, to begin on Jan. 1, 2020, is up for election this November.

Bernards Township Committeewoman Carol Bianchi, who also is township mayor this year, has already announced that she will not seek re-election.