ROSELLE/ROSELLE PARK, NJ - The people have spoken with their votes, and in Roselle it was a Democratic clean sweep with quite a few candidates running uncontested.
In Roselle Park it wasn’t quite as easy. With an almost Democratic clean sweep, the 5th Ward council seat was the race to watch. Residents all had their opinions on their candidate and they expressed it with their vote. In the end it was an unexpected upset when Republican candidate Thomas (Thos) Shipley won by a large margin over Richard Templeton III.
Templeton III, originally a Republican, at the last minute switched his party affiliation to run as a Democrat, leaving the Republicans scrambling to find a candidate. It was then that Shipley threw his hat into the ring and started what became a heated race between both parties and the community.
Shipley made history as the first African-American man to ever be elected to a council seat in Roselle Park, as well the first openly gay man to be elected in the town. Shipley is married to his campaign manager and former Mayor of the town for 16 years, Joe DeIorio.
Roselle Park Mayor Carl Hokanson immediately offered his congratulations to all of the candidates via his Facebook page by writing, “I'd like to congratulate 2nd Ward Councilman, Joe Petrosky, and 5th Ward Councilman-Elect, Thos Shipley, on their wins. I look forward to working with them in serving the residents of the Borough of Roselle Park.”
In a separate post, Hokanson offered words to the school board candidates by stating, “Congratulations to the newly elected members of the Roselle Park Board of Education: Mr. Troy Gerten, Mr. Sundjata Sekou and Mr. Kevin Cancino.”