HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - Tim Pino, a former captain in the Somerset County Sheriff’s office who ran a spirited campaign and thrived on his outsider status, narrowly lost Tuesday’s Republican Primary election to North Plainfield Police Chief William Parenti, who had the backing of the Somerset County Republican Party and Sheriff Frank Provenzano, who will be retiring at the end of this year.
The margin of victory for Parenti was 223 votes, who received a total of 6,944 votes. Pino’s vote total was 6,721.
Pino was endorsed by the Somerset County Sheriff’s police union.
All results are unofficial for at least 48 hours pending the receipt and counting of absentee ballots, according to Somerset County Clerk Steve Peter.
Parenti will face off against Democrat Darren Russo, a retired Franklin Township police lieutenant who ran unsuccessfully against Provenzano three years ago, losing narrowly by 600 votes. Tuesday night he won the right to try again, receiving 6,873 votes. He was opposed by Somerville resident Art Atkins, a former police officer in Bridgewater, who received 4,657 votes.
In Hillsborough, Pino received 523 votes; Parenti received 584 votes. Russo received 500 votes in Hillsborough while Akins received 350 votes.
Deputy Freeholder Director Pat Walsh, who has served on the board since 2008, won the Republican Primary over challenger Robert Quinn by a 62 to 38 percent margin. Walsh received 8,217 votes, while Quinn received 5,016.
In Hillsborough, Walsh received 687 votes, Quinn, 391 votes.
Walsh will be running against Democrat Melonie Marano, a former Green Brook mayor, who along with Russo, have been endorsed by the Somerset County Democratic Committee. Marano received 811 votes in Hillsborough
Walsh and Marano faced off in the 2007 Freeholder race, won by Walsh.
A total of 26,178 votes were cast in the Primary locally. The vote total represented 11.1 percent of the 235,929 registered voters in Somerset County.
Less than seven percent of Hillsborough’s 28,845 registered voters participated in Tuesday’s 2019 Primary Election.
The percentage of voters who turned out in the township’s 33 voting districts was tabulated at 6.94 percent after polls closed at 8 p.m., according to Pam Borek, township clerk.
There were 515 mail-in ballots received in Hillsborough, according to the county clerk.
Running uncontested for Hillsborough Township Committee with the support of their respective party committees were incumbent Republican Mayor Frank DelCore, whose vote total Tuesday night was 1,237; Democrat Jeff Wright, who narrowly lost his bid for a seat on the Township Committee in last year’s election received 1,070 votes.
The winner of each primary will face off in November in the general election.
Running unopposed for reelection in the 16th Assembly District were Democrat incumbents Andrew Zwicker, who received 2,965 votes and Roy Freiman, a Hillsborough resident, who received 2,857 votes.
In Hillsborough, Zwicker received 802 votes. Freiman’s vote count in his hometown was 788.
The GOP candidates for 16th District Assembly seats are former Montgomery mayor and Somerset County Freeholder Mark Caliguire, who ran unsuccessfully against Freiman for Assembly two years ago, who received 2,633 votes, and former Montgomery mayor Christine Madrid, who received 2,325 votes.
In Hillsborough, Caliguire received 773 votes and Madrid received 688 votes.
Roger LoCandro, a 24-year-old resident of Stockton in Hunterdon County, was also a Republican candidate in the 16th District Primary, and received 508 votes in Hillsborough. His total in the 16th District was 1,556.