HOLMDEL, NJ - A mud-slinging campaign lasting most of the year has come to an end in Holmdel with Republican Mayor Eric Hinds and his running mate, Board of Education Member Chiung-yin Cheng Liu, coming up short in the election for a three-year term on the Holmdel Township Committee.
The winners are newcomers Cathy Weber and Prakash Santhana.
Unofficially, Weber was top vote-getter with 2,072 votes and Santhana with 1991 votes. Hinds tallied 1953 votes and Liu garnered 1965. While provisional ballots are expected by Friday, the current absentee ballot count is Weber at 377, Santhana 350, Hinds 301 and Liu at 318.
The year began with a contested primary that resulted in incumbent Committeeman Mike Nikolis losing to Hinds and Liu. Nikolis then joined and endorsed the Independent campaign. The balance of the year in town hall was marked by investigations of various staff members, charges between members of the governing body and many tense public meetings. The administrator eventually left in good standing with a contractual payout and was replaced by the administrator in Eatontown. She will begin work in Holmdel on November 12.
The final vote tally should be available on Friday. There were no Democrats on the ballot this year.
In the 13th District Assembly race, which includes Holmdel, Freeholder Gerard Scharfenberger was the top vote getter at 25,155 and won along with his running mate, incumbent Serena Dimaso who garnered 24,649 votes. They were challenged by Democrats Allison Friedman with 17,181 votes and Holmdel resident Barbara Singer who earned 17,240 votes. The count is unofficial
In the Monmouth County Freeholder race, Freeholder Tom Arnone and Wall Township Committeeman Nick DiRocco both won in the unofficial tally against Democrats Moira Nelson and Michael Penna. Arnone recieved 68,877 votes, DiRocco earned 63,960 votes. Penna had 49,167 votes and Nelson had 48,739 votes.