EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - Incumbents carried the day in East Brunswick, as all four members currently serving on the East Brunswick Township Council were re-elected to new terms on the council. In the case of the previously elected members, Republicans Council President Camille Ferraro, Councilman Michael Hughes, and Councilman Jim Wendell, it was to new four year terms respectively.
Democrat Michael Spadafino was elected to fill the remaining two years of former councilwoman Nancy Pinkin's seat. Pinkin's seat was vacated last year when she was elected to the New Jersey State Assembly. Spadafino had been elected by the Council members to fill the vacated seat on an interim basis until this year's election.
It was an extremely close election. Ferraro received 5,414 votes, Hughes received 5,130, and Wendell received 5,054. Their Democratic opponents; Donna McEvoy, Adam Neary, and Ed Janzekovich, received 4,969, 4,760, and 4,748 votes each respectively.
Spadafino received 5,219 votes to his opponent, Republican Suzanne LeBlon-Blum's 4,970.
The victorious Republican team ran on a foundation of previous success in maintaining taxes at reasonable levels, reducing waste in the town budget, and general improvements in the town's infrastructure, with a message to stay the course while giving them more time to continue to improve the tax ratables on Route 18, and working with the mayor to continue to redevelop the areas still vacant in town while also growing and modernizing the township's infrastructure.
The Democratic team ran on a platform of concerns over possible increases in crime, lack of a plan by the incumbents for resurrecting the Route 18 Corridor, and general concerns that the status quo in East Brunswick is not the desired approach.
In other election news in East Brunswick, three Board of Education members were re-elected to new three year terms. Todd Simmens, Laurie Lachs, and Susanna Chiu each ran unopposed but all three received over 4,000 votes in the election nonetheless.
On the county level, both incumbent Freeholders, Charles Tomaro and Carol Barrett were re-elected to four year terms.
In the U.S. 12th Congressional District, Democrat Bonnie Watson-Coleman as expected became New Jersey's first African-American Congresswoman, easily outdistancing her Republican opponent Dr. Aleita Eck by a 2 to 1 margin.