BERNARDS TWP., NJ - Both Republican and Democratic candidates easily won their party's nomination in Tuesday's primary election for two seats up available this year on the Township Committee, but the Democrats received a relatively stronger show of support from voters in this primarily Republican township.
Planning Board Member James Baldassare was top vote-getter with 1,456 votes in the unofficial results announced by the township clerk's office on Tuesday night. Longtime Township Committee incumbent John Carpenter, who also is a former mayor, received 1,394 votes.
The Republicans will face off in November against the two local Democrats who received their party's bid on Tuesday to be listed on the ballot as official candidates for the two available three-year terms that will begin on the Township Committee in January 2018.
Candidate Sally G. Booth received 1,199 votes, and Joan B. Harris received 1,184 votes in the primary results.
Tuesday's ballot sheet, published online by the township, said that 3,188 township voters cast a primary ballot. That is 16.54 percent of total registered voters in Bernards Township.
The five-member Township Committee is currently comprised of all Republicans.
In primary results for this year's election of a new New Jersey governor, Bernards voters favored Somerset County-based Jack Ciattarelli, state Assemblyman for the 16th district, as leader of the pack, with 936 votes. Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno placed second with 494 votes.
Philip Murphy received 592 votes for the nomination for next N.J. governor from township voters, placing before John S. Wisniewski with 338 votes, and the candidate to come in as a close third, Jim Johnson with 316 local votes.