RARITAN, NJ - Republicans in Raritan swept the election, which included races for a four-year term as mayor and two three-year council seats.
With the unofficial results in from Raritan’s five voting districts Republican Zachary Bray led opponent, Democrat Pablo Orozco, in the run for mayor by 275 votes, 830 to 555.
“It’s overwhelming,” said Bray. “I served for four years on the council and I’m proud of the hard work I’ve done so far. I think the voters recognized my efforts and I appreciate their support.”
Asked whether there was an overriding campaign issue separating him from Bray, Orozco said, “No, not really. This election was about knocking on doors and talking to people.”
“No matter what happens tonight, I’ll look forward to working with Zach,” Orozco said, adding that he would be willing to run again.
Both incumbent Republican councilmen retained their seats.
Nicolas Carra won his second term with 796 votes and Paul Giraldi won his fourth term with 757 votes. Democrats Melissa Harris and Dianne Bautista finished the night with 583 votes and 596 votes, respectively.
Carra said he is excited about his second term.
“I’m really happy,” he said, “I appreciate the confidence the people of Raritan have shown in me. I won’t let them down.”
Carra added that he’s looking forward to working with Bray and Giraldi, and that he’s determined to bring a supermarket into the borough.
According to Giraldi, this was not an easy election.
“This was a hard-fought campaign,” he said. “It was a tougher win then in my three previous elections.”
Elections in Raritan are difficult to call in advance because, of the 5,117 registered voters in the borough 2,146 are unaffiliated with either of the two major parties. The Democrats have a slight edge with 1,616 registered voters over 1,355 Republicans, but the unknowns are the largest block.
Voter turnout was low this year, as is typical in an election year without a gubernatorial or presidential race. In Raritan, only about 27 percent of registered voters cast a ballot.