FANWOOD/SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Local voters went to the polls on Tuesday to elect a new governor, general assembly members, freeholders, county sheriff, Fanwood Council members and a Board of Ed candidate on Election Day.
Fanwood Councilman Russell Huegel (D) collected 1,620 votes, and newcomer Anthony Carter (D) tallied 1,563 to handily defeat newcomer and political novice Brian Walter (R), who gained 876 votes. Write-in candidate Amy Boroff collected 300 votes to gain a seat on the Scotch Plains-Fanwood School District.
"I think the majority of people will vote for the right person to lead the town regardless of political affiliation," said Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr, who was thrilled with the night's results. "Our margin of victory is almost two-to-one. We also saw Amy Boroff get over 300 votes in Fanwood to represent the Borough at the Board of Ed."
"Fanwood is an educated electorate that does the best job. I say 'Thank you,' " Mahr added. "Russ and Anthony are awesome public servants, and Amy will serve Fanwood well on the Board of Ed."
Russ Huegel was reelected to the Council for his fourth term.
"Volunteerism is on our DNA. Fanwood is a small town. It is hard to navigate the financial burdens placed upon it," said Councilman Huegel. "I feel a sense of responsibility to help Fanwood navigate through them."
"Twenty-two years ago, this wonderful community opened up to me and my family. We planted a seed, and the tree grew," said Councilman-Elect Anthony Carter. "I look forward to living here and serving for generations to follow."
Republican candidate Brian Walter had a slow start, wouldn't give in, and set a combative tone on social media for the final few days of the campaign.
"Thank you, Fanwoodians, who came out to support my campaign and voted today! You did amazing, and it’s only the beginning," said Walter, who congratulated Russ Huegel and Anthony Carter in a phone interview with TAPintoSPF.net. "I want to thank the many volunteers working day and night to make a positive change in Fanwood’s one-sided government. It was truly inspiring. Tomorrow we will begin the campaigns for next year. We are stronger than ever!"
The only local race in Scotch Plains was for two three-year seats on the Board of Education. Evan Murray (2,495 votes) and Cindy Clancy (2,413 votes) ran unopposed.
Across the region, it was a good day for the Democrats, who swept many of the towns. In Westfield, incumbent Republican Mayor Andy Skibitsky, was soundly defeated by upstart Shelly Brindle. In Plainfield, Mayor Mapp easily won reelection.
Philip Murphy, a Democrat and former Goldman Sachs executive, defeated Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, who served served alongside Chris Christie for eight years. Murphy favors raising taxes, free college tuition, and wants to set the minimum wage at $15 an hour. Additionally, he favored legalizing marijuana and creating tougher gun laws.
Here are some of the unofficial race results:
Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders (Three-year term)
Angel Estrada (D) -- 62,794
Christopher Hudak (D) -- 61,924
Angela R. Garretson (D) -- 61,166
Patricia Quattrocchi (R) -- 34,302
P. Mark Martini (R) -- 34,252
Peter B. Lijoi (R) -- 33,710
Sheriff (Three-year term)
Peter Corvelli (D) -- 64,792
Marc A. Krauss (R) -- 33,463
Fanwood Council (Three-year term)
Russell Huegel (D) -- 1,620
Anthony Carter (D) --1,563
Brian Walter (R) -- 876
Westfield Mayor (Four-year term)
Shelly Brindle (D) -- 5,925
Andrew K. Skibitsky (R) -- 4,077
Plainfield Mayor (four-year term)
Adrian O. Mapp (D) -- 5,364
Mustapha Muhammad (I) -- 1,415