Democrats will join team in seeking Progress, Not Politics


BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ— Julie Figlar and Rina Franchino, longtime Berkeley Heights residents, have announced their candidacies for Township Council in 2019. 

“Rina and Julie both have the support of the Berkeley Heights Democratic Committee,” stated Chairman George Devanney.

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“We are proud to announce our candidacies for Township Council,” said Figlar and Franchino in a prepared statement. “In less than 100 days, Mayor Devanney’s new leadership has pushed Berkeley Heights to make major strides forward. Our town has paved more roads, taken more fiscally responsible actions, and implemented new ways of better communicating with our residents. This administration has become more transparent as it continues to search for ways to cut unnecessary costs and is taking a proactive approach in ensuring all of the development going on around town is delivered on time, and on budget.  

“To keep the progress going, however, we need council members who will join them in putting Berkeley Heights first. As community leaders, concerned citizens, and moms of young children growing up in this town, we are ready to roll up our sleeves and do our part. That’s why we’re stepping forward.” 

“I am thrilled Julie and Rina are running for council this year,” stated Chairman Devanney. “They will bring new energy and passion to building on the progress that ‘Team Purple’  has already made since January 1. I am confident in their commitment and their experience, and I know they will make our community proud as council members.”

A formal campaign kickoff will be announced in the near future, while the campaign website and Facebook page will be online soon. The Democratic primary will be held on Tuesday, June 4, 2019, and the general election will be held on Tuesday, November, 5, 2019.

About Julie & Rina

Julie Figlar has been making a difference in the lives of Berkeley Heights children for nearly 20 years, as a teacher and Reading Specialist at Mary Kay McMillin School. Julie served on the PTO at Hughes and Mary Kay, and has been an active volunteer parent with the Girl Scouts and various Recreation sports. An award-winning educator, Julie is a recipient of New Jersey Best Practice Award and a New Jersey Department of Developmental Disabilities Fellowship Award. Julie earned her M.Ed. in Reading and Literacy from Boston College and her B.S. in Elementary Education from St. Bonaventure University, and has continued earning credit hours from Kean University and The College of New Jersey. She is active in her husband Jason’s building and development company, and together they are raising their three daughters, Claudia (age 4), Carly (age 8), and Addy (age 10). Julie can be reached at

Rina Franchino has lived in Berkeley Heights for almost 30 years, and graduated from our public schools including Governor Livingston High School. Looking to give back to her hometown, Rina ran for Township Council in 2015 and came within 100 votes of winning a seat. A highly accomplished English teacher in the Rahway Public School district for 17 years, Rina received her M.A. in Teaching from St. Mary’s University, her B.A. in English from Kean University, and is a certified special education teacher as well. She serves on the Diversity Council for Kean University, the Executive Council for the Rahway Education Association, and negotiates contracts for her building as a Building Representative. Rina and her husband Frank, another longtime Berkeley Heights resident and GL graduate, have 2 children: Leo (age 5) and Ava (age 11), both of whom attend Berkeley Heights public schools. Rina can be reached at