BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Christine Reilly and Doug Reinstein are the declared winners of the Board of Education election. While Reilly led the polls with 1,376 votes, Reinstein narrowly edged out Robert Cianciulli, who waged an active campaign.
Reinstein, who led Cianciulli by 10 votes when the polls closed Tuesday evening, won the election by 32 votes, 899-867, after the absentee ballots were opened by the Union County Board of Elections.
"I look forward to serving the Berkeley Heights residents for another three years as we continue our path in making our schools great," said Reinstein. "I truly appreciate the support that they have shown me."
Although disappointed, Cianciulli is not discouraged from running again next year and congratulated Reilly and Reinstein. "Campaigning for the Berkeley Heights School Board was one of the most challenging and exhilarating experiences of my life! I look forward to running again next year. Chris Reilly and Doug Reinstein have my congratulations and best wishes."
"It is important to acknowledge and thank the nonincumbent challenger, Robert Cianciulli, for his efforts and commitment to this race," said Reilly. "I applaud his desire to serve and encourage him to stay involved as I am very interested in listening to his input and perspectives."
Reilly will serve her first three-year term and is excited to continue the work of the Board and move forward and continually improve. "Thanks to the voters for turning out and electing me. I promise I will work hard for you and be a good listener," said Reilly.
"I believe there are a lot of really positive things going on in this town and in our schools. I want to thank the voters for giving me the opportunity to continue to work with my colleagues on the Board -- as well as with the parents, teachers, and students in this community -- to keep us moving forward. I also want to express my appreciation to my running mate Doug Reinstein for his support throughout the campaign process," she said.
In closing, she added, "I think what I bring first and foremost to the table is a philosophy that our schools need to continuously improve in order to keep pace with a fast changing world – and I was happy to see that concept resonate with the voters. Rather than spend energy debating the definition of a 'high-performing' school system, let's simply challenge ourselves to get better and better at what we do each and every year. If we all embrace a spirit of continuous improvement--and measure it!--I'm confident we will have the right recipe in place for the long-term success of our kids and our schools."