HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - Incumbent Republican Mayor Frank DelCore won reelection to a fifth term on the Township Committee Tuesday, beating Democratic challenger Jeffrey Wright by a vote ot 4,825 to 4,036.
Incumbent Somerset County Freeholder Patricia Walsh lost her bid for a fourth term, losing to Democratic challenger Melonie Marano, who had faced off against Walsh and lost in 2007. The losing margin was 250 votes, with Marano receiving 34,652 votes, 50.16 percent and Walsh, 34,402 votes. 49.8 percent. There were 31 write-in votes.
Marano's victory gives Democrats a 3-2 edge over the Republicans on the Board of Chosen Freeholders; she will also be the third female on the board, joining Democrats Sara Sooy and Shanel Robinson. Republican freeholders are Brian Levine and Brian Gallagher. When sworn to office next year, Marano, Sooy and Robinson will represent the first Democratic majority on the board in over 50 years.
Darrin Russo, retired Franklin Township police lieutenant and Democratic candidate for Somerset County Sheriff, defeated North Plainfield Police Chief William Parenti, the Republican candidate, by a vote of 35,886 to 33,423, a 51.68 to 48.1 percent margin. There were 135 write-in votes. Parenti had been endorsed by outgoing Sheriff Frank Provenzano, who is retiring after 18 years.
A total of 559 votes separates the 4 candidates in the race for two seats in the 16th Assembly District in Somerset County. The district also includes towns in Middlesex, Mercer and Hunterdon counties. The vote totals in those three counties are not included.
In Somerset County, Democratic incumbent Andrew Zwicker, seeking his third term, totaled 11,148 votes (25.8 percent); his running mate, Hillsborough resident Roy Freiman, seeking his second term in the Assembly, trailed Republican challenger Mark Caliguire in Somerset County, with Caliguire receiving 10.739 votes (24.86 percent) to Freiman's 10,699 votes (24.76 percent). Caliguire's GOP running mate, Christine Madrid, received 10,589 votes (24.51 percent).
All vote totals are preliminary and won't be finalized until all mail-in ballots are counted by the end of the week or early next week, according to Somerset County Clerk Steve Peter.
Hillsborough Township Clerk Pam Borek said 3,762 mail-in ballots were requested prior to the election; as of Nov. 1, 1,448 had been returned. Peter said 26,000 mail-in ballots were sent to Somerset County residents; some of those have been returned, and were included in last night's count.
Voter turnout in Hillsborough was unusually heavy - 73.09 percent - with 22,623 voters casting ballots Tuesday out of 30,953 registered voters. There are a total of 242,312 registered voters in Somerset County.
Incumbent school board member Joyce Eldrige-Howard finished fourth in a five-candidate race for three seats. The winners were incumbent Jean Trujillo, 3,970 votes; Gregory Gillette, 3,516 votes and newcomer John Oliver, 3,564 votes. Eldrige-Howard had 3,453 votes while the fifth candidate, Paul Marini, received 3,091 votes.
Walsh received 3,985 votes in Hillsborough, with Marano receiving 3,428 votes. Parenti received 3,830 votes while Russo received 3,563 votes.
Caliguire and Madrid were favored by Hillsborough voters over incumbents Zwicker and Freiman. Caliguire received 3,795 votes; Madrid, 3,761, Zwicker, 3,683 and Freiman, 3,558. Both Caligure and Madrid are former mayors of neighboring Montgomery.
This story will be updated as up-to-date vote totals from throughout Somerset County are made available.