Edited on Sunday, November 22, 2020 at 9:47 p.m.
BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Despite conceding late last week, Councilwoman Susan Poage is demanding a taxpayer funded recount in the Berkeley Heights Municipal Town Council Race.
On November 16th, Councilwoman Susan Poage and candidate Brett Sayer wrote, "Congratulations to Jeanne Kingsley and Jeffrey Varnerin for their win in the Township Council election."
Councilwoman Jeanne Kingsley and Jeff Varnerin were certified as the winners of the election. Kingsley garnered 4,160 votes, 26.12 percent of the total vote, and Varnerin received 4,050 votes, 25.43 percent. These certified numbers represent an even larger lead than the candidates had when the Devanney team conceded.
Late Friday 11/20, within hours of the deadline, an attorney, representing Poage, petitioned a Union County judge for a recount of the election.
Despite presenting no evidence whatsoever, the claim notes that "errors were made in the counting of the votes from each district within the Township of Berkeley Heights." This recount, although fully within Poage's legal discretion, will cost Union County taxpayers. With a lead of more than 100 votes it is near impossible that a recount would impact the results of the election.
Berkeley Heights GOP Chairwoman Heidi Cohen released the following statement in response to the recount petition:
"Jeanne and Jeff ran a campaign that was about bringing Berkeley Heights together and moving forward in difficult times. We are proud of our candidates, the patience of our residents, and the hard work of the Union County Board of Election, in managing this unique election year’s ballot count. Our community has had enough political games. They have waited long enough for the certified vote tallies. It is time to focus on the future. This unnecessary recount is just more affirmation that Berkeley Heights made the right choice in Jeanne and Jeff."
Editor's Note: To our knowledge, Susan Poage is the only candidate of either party to request a recount. Bret Sayre informed TAPinto Berkeley Heights on Sunday night (November 22, 2020) that he has conceded the race and is not requesting a recount. The press release as originally submitted to TAPinto Berkeley Heights has been adjusted accordingly.