Roxbury Council Retain Seats; 'C.A.R.E' Candidates Take School Election

L-R: Anne Colucci stesses out as election results are posted while Heather Champagne and Joseph Bocchino IV also watch the screen at Roxbury town hall
L-R: Mark Crowley, Jaki Albrecht, Jim Rilee and Bob DeFillippo celebrate Election Day victories at Legends Ale House in Succasunna

ROXBURY, NJ – Four incumbent Republican members of the Roxbury Mayor and Council were returned to their positions in today’s election while three newcomers were chosen for the township school board.

Roxbury Mayor Mark Crowley, Roxbury Councilman Bob DeFillippo, Roxbury Councilman Jim Rilee and Roxbury Councilwoman Jaki Albrecht easily won election to the township governing body.

The three men will return to their 3-year-long, at-large seats while Albrecht – chosen by the council in July to fill-in for former Roxbury Councilman Gary Behrens, who resigned, will represent Ward 2 for the remaining two years of Behrens’ 3-year term.

Sign Up for E-News

It was an election that saw two Democrats, Lawrence Jones and Sean Cope, throw their hats in the ring but then do very little in terms of campaigning. Insiders described their candidacies as just "placeholders" on the ballot in the predominantly GOP municipality.

There was a bit more excitement in the non-partisan race for three, 3-year seats on the school board as Joseph Bocchino IV, Heather Champagne and Anne Colucci teamed up to run together under the Concerned Advocates for Roxbury Education (C.A.R.E.) banner. That left the other candidate, Eric Pilkington, as a lone wolf.

Despite that, Pilkington waged a good fight, receiving 2,148 votes, only 459 fewer than Bocchino. Colucci received 2,684 votes and Champagne – who lost a Democratic bid for Mayor and Council in 2015 – was the top school board election vote-getter with 2,985.

Roxbury attorney Heather Darling, a Republican, beat Democrat Rozella Clyde in the race for a seat on the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders. Darling received 70,853 votes to Clyde’s 52,980. Her election means that two of the seven freeholders are from Roxbury, the other being Kathryn DeFillippo.

Perhaps the most anxious and excited of all the local candidates was Colucci, a certified home health aide who’s lived in Roxbury for 22 years. She's lost two prior election bids, one for town council and one for school board. Throughout the day, and evening, Colucci seemed on the verge of tears as she dealt with the Election Day stress.

“We did this all on our own,” Colucci said, expressing relief after the final results were posted. “We would get up at 6 o’clock in the morning until we went to bed at night … This is a great team. We’re like family.”

Champagne said she thought her 2015 run for council helped her in the school board race. "The first time running, there were a lot of things that I didn't know how to do," she said. "I'm grateful for the prior experience, not only because it gave me some insight as to how to run a campaign properly but also because it got me some name recognition ... I'm grateful to my ward and everybody who's come out to support us."

Pilkington said he was  "obviously disappointed" with the results. "But, despite the loss, I think my impact will be felt," he said. "I brought a lot of unique and progressive ideas to the table and I hope that our board will take a few and run with them. I am humbled by the support I had throughout my campaign. Despite the result, I will continue to be a voice and an advocate for our schools. I wish Ann, Heather, and Joe the best of luck."

DeFillippo and Rilee said they were glad about the turnout, especially since it was a cold and rainy day. The township has about 15,500 registered voters and about 6,700 cast ballots. “Once again, the Roxbury residents demonstrated they’re well-informed and engaged,” DeFillippo said. “I want to thank everybody, all who came out today, regardless of who they voted for. It makes me proud to be part of this community.”

According to the Morris County Clerk's Office, DeFillippo received 4,358 votes; Rilee received 4,255 votes; Crowley received 4,375 votes; Jones received 2,210 votes; Albrecht received 946 votes and Cope received 474 votes.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Thu, January 25, 7:00 PM

Big Ed's Tap House at Circle Bowl, Ledgewood

Paint Your Pet Wine and Paint

Arts & Entertainment


Mon, January 29, 6:30 PM

Roxbury Public Library, Succasunna, NJ 07876

Protecting Your Identity- What to Know and What ...



Sat, February 10, 7:30 PM

Investor Bank Theater, Succasunna

Silver Starlight Orchestra

Arts & Entertainment


Mon, February 12, 11:00 AM

Black River Barn Restaurant, Randolph

Dining to Donate for Presbyterian Church

Food & Drink Giving Back Religions And Spirituality



AtlantiCast: Episode 010

On this week’s AtlantiCast, we take you to the groundbreaking for an expansion to Morristown Medical Center, introduce you to the newest babies of 2018 at Atlantic Health System and share some must-see winter weather tips!


Sponsors of Roxbury's Best Journalism

Getting it Right From the Start; Roxbury Realtor Bob Idakaar

ROXBURY, NJ – Twenty years ago this month, Bob Idakaar experienced an unprofessional real estate agent. That’s when he decided to be a good one.

Idakaar, a lifelong Succasunna resident and TAPinto Roxbury sponsor, bought his fifth home in July 1997. A big event, one that could have been joyous, ended up being stressful and unenjoyable.

“I had a bad experience,” he ...

Roxbury Diner: Homespun Hospitality Through Thick and Thin

ROXBURY, NJ – Roxbury was being buried in snow March 14 and most businesses were closed. Not Roxbury Diner.

Roxbury Diner isn’t like most businesses.For co-owner Jimmy Dontas, a snowstorm – even a blizzard – isn’t a reason to suspend operations. Instead, it’s a call to action.

To many in town, Roxbury Diner – a TAPinto Roxbury sponsor – is ...

It Began With Filling Your Tank; Now They Fix Your Grandson’s Car

When we drive east on Route 10 through Roxbury, many of us might remember a Shell station at the Randolph border next to the golf range. It was in that station that Nancy and Peyton Knight began their long history of auto repair in the township.

That was 1983 and soon the Knights’ business grew and expanded. The humble gas station gradually morphed into a state-of-the-art ...

Orthopedic Urgent Care in Roxbury - Open Late and on Weekends

ROXBURY, NJ – It’s a pleasant Sunday morning, you’re playing volleyball in the back yard with the kids and – forgetting you’re not 17 anymore – you jump up to smack that ball.

Instead of feeling the satisfaction of an unanswered spike, you feel the stinging pain of a wounded ankle.

The only good thing about this scenario is that you live in Roxbury. That ...

Love of His Hometown Drives Roxbury Realtor Ted Miller II

ROXBURY, N.J. – Most local real estate agents can tell you what houses are for sale in Roxbury. Ted Miller can probably tell you what was there before the houses were built. 

Miller, a TAPinto Roxbury sponsor, grew up in the township and has watched it change from bucolic to bustling. The son of a local Realtor, ...

Three Sons at His Side, John Klein Makes Plumbing a Family Affair

ROXBURY, N.J. - Running water and a warm house during winter months are some of the most important amenities we enjoy -- and often take for granted -- in our homes.

With John Klein Plumbing & Heating, a TAPinto Roxbury sponsor, residents of Roxbury (and beyond) have a father-and-sons company they count on for reliable plumbing and heating services to keep the ...

Letters to TAPinto Roxbury

Proving yourself first

January 5, 2018

Dear Editor,

I have read with interest the reaction of the only Democrat member of Roxbury's Town Council regarding his appointments to committees.

I recently retired after over 40 years in senior leadership roles in both public and private sectors. I have always found that responsibility is earned through proving one's self through team work, due ...

Two From Roxbury Area Make UVM Dean's List

January 19, 2018

BURLINGTON, VT -- Zoe Quan-Shau of Flanders and Samantha Valerie Mae Meneses of Succasunna were named to the Dean's List at the University of Vermont. To be named to the dean's list, students must have a grade-point average of 3.0 or better and rank in the top 20 percent of their class in their respective college or school.

University of Rhode Island Dean's List Includes Students from Roxbury

KINGSTON, RI - The University of Rhode Island is pleased to announce that 5,500 undergraduates have qualified for the fall 2017 Dean's List. The students represent nearly all of Rhode Island's cities and towns, all six New England states, New York and New Jersey, and many other states and nations.

To be included on the Dean's List, students must have completed 12 or more ...

Bedel-Franklin and Grady Make Emerson Dean's List

BOSTON, MA  - Hannah Bedel-Franklin, of Kenvil, and Matthew Grady, of Landing, were named to Emerson College's Dean's List for the Fall 2017 semester. The requirement to make the Dean's List is a grade point average of 3.7 or higher.

Samuel Sherwood makes Roger Williams University Dean's List

BRISTOL, RI -- Samuel Sherwood of Succasunna was named to the Fall 2017 Dean's List at Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I.

Full-time students who complete 12 or more credits per semester and earn a GPA of 3.4 or higher are placed on the Dean's List that semester.


Succasunna's Kent Libby Named to Worcester Polytechnic Institute Dean's List

WORCESTER, MA - Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has announced that Kent Libby of Succasunna,, a member of the class of 2020 majoring in robotics engineering, was named to the university's Dean's List for academic excellence for the fall 2017 semester.

A total of 1,608 undergraduate students achieved the criteria required for WPI's fall 2017 Dean's List. The criteria ...

Press Releases

First Energy Donates to Morris Habitat for Humanity ReStore

January 17, 2018

First Energy is pleased to partner with Morris Habitat for Humanity to provide a grant to support Operator Safety Training for the ReStore staff and volunteers. A check for $2,500 from First Energy Foundation was presented to Morris Habitat and the ReStore on January 16, 2018.  Pictured are Mel Oppenheimer, ReStore Advisory Committee; Blair Schleicher Bravo, CEO Morris Habitat; Michael ...

Brain Cancer Study Opens at Overlook Medical Center - One of Four Sites in Country

Kurt Jaeckle, MD, co-director of the Gerald J. Glasser Brain Tumor Center at Overlook Medical Center, and medical director of the Atlantic Center for Research, is leading a phase III study of novel drug VAL-083, which has already shown promise in Glioblastoma and other cancers. 

The study is for patients whose glioblastoma multiforme or gliosarcoma has progressed during or after treatment ...