Government

Union County Democratic Committee Vote: And the Winner is...

a8fd85fb6ac67d350b16_DSC_2643.jpg
Nick Scutari and Colleen Mahr after the UCDC election on Weds, Feb. 21 in Clark. Credits: John Mooney
6f54b9ccc7b1fbb6ff9d_DSC_2585.jpg
Registration table at Gran Centurions on Weds, Feb. 21 for the UCDC vote. Credits: John Mooney
b7dfa18c3e7d6a6d58ba_DSC_2588.jpg
Dan Sullivan of Elizabeth and State Senator Nick Scutari of Linden, who won the balloting for UCDC chair. Credits: John Mooney
b09e7e9c754b10d5cf50_CSC_2614.jpg
Mayor Colleen Mahr on simulcast Credits: John Mooney
c1a77986f98ef537a688_DSC_2617.jpg
Voting procedures explained. Credits: John Mooney
6af3465f967222fa138b_DSC_2584.jpg
Westfield Mayor Shelly Brindl said she proudly supported Colleen Mahr. Credits: John Mooney
aed43af4edb3f224de8a_DSC_2594.jpg
Linden Mayor Derek Armstead Credits: John Mooney
b1e6438f2a1cbf5476af_DSC_2577.jpg
Cranford Mayor Tom Hannen supported Colleen Mahr. Credits: John Mooney
b7ff1d6e3df38763a785_DSC_2593.jpg
39f959fc9a4a14e357f8_CSC_2614.jpg
Mayor Colleen Mahr spoke in the main room, and the proceedings were viewed on simulcasts in the others as over 740 UCDC voters attended. Credits: John Mooney
0630d27bd4db64dd790a_DSC_2638.jpg
Rev. Atkins and TAPintoLinden editor Cynthia Atkins Credits: John Mooney
11101afd3643adb0533b_DSC_2598.jpg
Rose Checchio and Irene Bartels of Scotch Plains Credits: John Mooney
2e9665229de405dbd5ed_DSC_2570__1_.jpg
Line of UCDC voters outside Gran Centurions Credits: John Mooney
fd373409a377070e8f25_DSC_2593.jpg
5bd220b6f09cde4d9b5b_DSC_2598.jpg
3624b84df11a58e595df_DSC_2605.jpg
Scotch Plains Committee member Anthony Miccio Credits: John Mooney
043739309a044ba0fb0a_DSC_2571.jpg
Fanwood Councilman Jack Molenaar Credits: John Mooney
1cdbd0e9dc295f384e09_DSC_2606.jpg
2264b7c097499506ed1b_DSC_2610.jpg
7c69ccb4649ad3349307_DSC_2634.jpg
Scotch Plains committee members Credits: John Mooney
cfb00aee74e3e0073b2e_DSC_2603.jpg
Scotch Plains Committee members Credits: John Mooney
0fbb252c99d1b92269ab_DSC_2632.jpg
Scotch Plains Committee members with Al Mirabella Credits: John Mooney
03ae21c3d4f7a052ff93_DSC_2626.jpg
Ballots handed out. Credits: John Mooney
b960fec780fc48f66f40_DSC_2627.jpg
New Providence Committee Credits: John Mooney
05a79060e8224c535bdd_DSC_2631.jpg
3db280a8cf4e24ae5316_DSC_2565.jpg
Gran Centurions in Clark, NJ Credits: John Mooney
a8fd85fb6ac67d350b16_DSC_2643.jpg

CLARK, NJ – The vote for the Union County Democratic Committee (UCDC) chairmanship came to a conclusion Wednesday night when 748 committee members from the county’s 21 municipalities descended on the Gran Centurions in Clark to vote for their new party leader.

State Senator Nick Scutari away with a 412-341 victory over Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr in a battled that had become quite contentious over the past three weeks with old political alliances being broken.

The candidates went to court on Tuesday over the way the voting would be handled. The Scutari camp argued that the party’s bylaws call for an open ballot. The Mahr camp argued that an open ballot created an environment in which voters could be intimidated and possibly be victims of retaliation if they did not vote the way that local party bosses wanted.

Sign Up for E-News

A group of Democrats supporting Nick Scutari -- Louisa Bianco, of Scotch Plains; the Rev. Reginald Atkins, of Roselle; Lourdes Leon, of Elizabeth; Freeholder Bruce Bergen, of Springfield; and Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded of Westfield -- filed papers in Union County Superior Court to prevent the use of voting booths at the convention.

“The UCDC's rules are clear, and in violating them, she sows disruption and confusion at this meeting. People will not know whether to follow Ms. Mahr or follow the rules,” Rev. Atkins said.

Mahr called the machines "the best way… that voters are assured that they have a right to vote their true feelings."

In the end, Judge Katherine Dupuis ruled against the use of machine ballots. The ruling led to Anthony Salters of Hillside’s dropping out of the race and throwing his support behind Colleen Mahr. Following the decision, attorneys for Mahr and Scutari reached a compromise in which paper ballots were distributed to voters, who were instructed to mark and then sign their names to them, thus making the voting “open.”

“We are dealing with a historic moment here,” Mahr told the crowd. “We have not had a contested election in decades.”

Committee members had a half-hour to sign and submit their ballots, which could be counted by delegation chairs before being sent to another room to be certified by auditors.

In the end, Scutari’s strength in Linden (69 voters), Elizabeth (113) and Plainfield (61) proved too much for Mahr, whose support came from nearby suburban towns such as Westfield and Cranford. Mahr’s campaign was hurt by the fact that many of neighboring Scotch Plains's committee voted for Scutari, who started off by thanking the township and Councilman John Del Sordi during his post-election remarks.

Scutari promised to “be the chairman of all 21 municipalities” in Union County and said “Colleen, you deserve all the praise in the world” before announcing that she would be his first vice chair.

While Mahr supporters were disappointed by the outcome, they were encouraged that the final tally was closer than they might have expected with the open ballot and that women in Union County now seem more willing to challenge the status quo.

“This is the way we do things in America (by voting),” said Linden Mayor Derek Armstead, ran as Mahr's vice chair. “We don’t send in the tanks.” 

TAPintoRoselle.net is Roselle’s official electronic news source! To get your free daily Roselle or Roselle Park news, click on your town. 

Sign up for our daily e-news!

Download the TAPinto App!   Click here for Android.  Click here for iOS

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Roselle/Roselle Park

Register by June 18 for Summer of Fun Camp in Roselle

June 16, 2018

ROSELLE, NJ - Get your kids ready for best eight weeks of their young lives, as Roselle presents the 2018 version of its summer fun camp for borough youngsters.

Under the direction of Recreation Director Donald Shaw, borough officials have put together eight weeks of fun, from outdoor adventures, to movies, to arts and crafts, to bowling to swimming. There are also visits to a lake and to a ...

Vitale Family to Hold “Alex's Lemonade Stand” Fundraiser

ROSELLE PARK, NJ - The Vitale Family in Roselle Park will be participating in "Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer" this Saturday, June 16. 

The Vitale family has a son Matteo who has pediatric cancer and they want to help raise awareness.

The family will have a lemonade stand in front of there home at 718 Chestnut Street in Roselle Park, to raise ...

Roselle Park Bulk Collection Company Experiencing Significant Delays

ROSELLE PARK, NJ - The Borough of Roselle Park's Bulk Waste Collection contractor is experiencing significant delays at the solid waste transfer station designated by the Union County Utilities Authority. 

Due to these disposal delays, residents should expect delayed pickups today and Friday, as applicable, and potentially through the weekend.

The Borough remains in close ...

Roselle PBA to Host 2nd Annual Free Softball Clinic

ROSELLE, NJ - The Roselle PBA will be hosting their 2nd Annual Free Softball Clinic at Sylvester Land Field for all ages and skill levels.

The clinic will be held on Tuesday, July 10. Youth ages 5 to 11 will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and ages 12 to 18 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

While the event is primarily for girls, boys are also welcome to join in on the fun that will ...

Make Music Roselle Park Lineup Includes Rock Bands, Singer-songwriters, Free Harmonica Lesson

ROSELLE PARK, NJ - The lineup for the first-ever Make Music Roselle Park will include two rock bands, a pair of singer-songwriters, a free beginner harmonica lesson and more.

The event being held on June 21, Make Music Roselle Park is part of Make Music Day, a global music celebration that takes place on the summer solstice each year and brings people of all ages and skill ...

Freeholder Board Announces Launch of Free Farmers’ Market Vouchers for Seniors

ELIZABETH, NJ - The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders has announced that the annual Farmers’ Market voucher program for seniors will begin again this summer. Starting on June 25, income-eligible adults age 60 and up can receive a total of $25 in free vouchers to purchase fresh produce at designated Farmers’ Markets throughout Union County.

The total of $25 is provided in $5 ...

Fuzzy Lemons Featured at Free Union County CommUNITY PRIDE Day Celebrating All Families

June 11, 2018

RAHWAY, NJ - The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders are inviting residents and visitors to enjoy a day of free fun activities for children, parents, friends, and family featuring the beloved rock ‘n’ roll of The Fuzzy Lemons, at the upcoming Union County CommUNITY PRIDE Day.

The event will take place on Saturday, June 16 at Rahway River Park in Rahway. CommUNITY PRIDE Day ...

Gov. Murphy still pushing a millionaire's tax, won’t say when he'll sign sports betting, weed bills

June 11, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - With a showdown on the state budget looming just 22 days away, Gov. Phil Murphy today re-emphasized his call for a tax on the state’s wealthiest households while hoping to avoid another shutdown of state government.

“Do I still want a millionaire’s tax? The answer is ‘yes,’ “ Murphy said at a press conference at the John ...

Get Empowered to Help Prevent Suicide

June 9, 2018

Over the past week social media and the news have been filled with stories and articles encouraging people to seek help if they’re in emotional distress. There have been countless articles about the need to break the silence around the topic of mental health and suicide, and I am encouraged by the support people are extending to others.

Often, the death by suicide by prominent ...

Help Is Available for Suicide Prevention

June 15, 2018

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders reminds residents that trained counselors at NJ Hopeline will provide confidential, anonymous guidance for people who may be having suicidal thoughts, or who know someone at risk.

NJHopeline may be contacted 24/7 by phone at 855-654-6735 or by live chat at njhopeline.com.

In addition, Union County residents can contact the County’s ...

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (William Morrow, 2018)

 

A friend, whose opinion on literature I respect greatly, reported to me recently that she had just finished reading A.J. Finn's debut novel, The Woman in the Window. Of it she said, “I wish I hadn't finished it,” which I interpreted to mean, “It was so good I'm sorry that I finished it.” ...