BERNARDS TWP., NJ - Tuesday's primary election will have no contest between local Democratic and Republican candidates running unopposed for their party's nomination for Bernards Township Committee. But it might be a preview of the general support that Democratic candidates have in the township.
Republicans John Carpenter, a longtime member of the Township Committee and former mayor, and James Baldassare, Jr., a member of the Planning Board, are uncontested in seeking the GOP nomination for the two three-year seats up for election this year. Thomas Russo, another member of the all-Republican Township Committee, declined to seek re-election.
This year, the revived Bernards Township Democratic Committee is backing two local candidates - Sally Booth and Joan Harris - who expect to face off against the Republicans in the November general election. The Democratic candidates cited both local and nationally-based issues when they officially launched their campaigns in April at the town gazebo in Basking Ridge. The Democrats said residents should have a choice in voting for candidates who represent a wider perspective in the township.
As is a local tradition, the Republican candidates also launched their campaigns at the town gazebo this spring. The Republicans cited the financial stability of Bernards Township, including its debt-free status, along with environmental achievements and preservation of quality of life.
Baldassare and Carpenter cited such benchmarks as the township's rare triple A bond rating as an indication of strong finances, at the same time the township is offering an increasing amount of cultural and recreational events and has achieved ranking as one of the safest places to live in the U.S.
Local polls are scheduled to be open for voting at township election sites from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 6.
A contested primary election race listed on this year's township ballot will be race for New Jersey's next governor, as Chris Christie prepares to leave office.
Contested primary election for governor
Republican voters will be presented with five candidates for governor on this June's official ballot, including current Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, Rep. State Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli of Somerset County, Joseph R. Rullo, Hirsch Singh and Steven Rogers.
Democratic candidates for their party's endorsement for governor who are listed on the official ballot include William Brennan, Jim Johnson, Mark Zinna, John S. Wisniewski, Raymond Lesniak, and Philip Murphy.