Somerville: Gallagher Wins Freeholder Race; Democrats Sullivan, Wied Defeat Kraska, Pierson in  Borough Council Race; School Board President Chin Loses; Peter Loses County Clerk Race

Steve Peter, Borough Council president, left, lost his bid to unseat Republican Bret Radi as Somerset County Clerk, while Mayor Brian Gallagher won his race for Somerset County Freeholder. Credits: Rod Hirsch

SOMERVILLE, NJ - Incumbent Dennis Sullivan and his Democratic running mate Fred Wied V were elected to the Borough Council last night, winning three-year terms over Republican incumbent Councilman Jason Kraska and running mate Jennifer Pearson, while Mayor Brian Gallagher successfully transitioned to the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders, winning election along with running mate and incumbent Freeholder Brian Levine.

Sullivan received 1,758 votes; Wied, 1,602; Kraska, 1.295 and Pierson, 1,259.

Kraska is the only Republican on the six-member Borough Council; his defeat creates an all-Democratic governing body.

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Norman Chin, president of the Somerville Board of Education, was defeated in his bid for reelection. Top vote-getters in the race for three seats on the Somerville Board of Education were Derek J. Jess, 934 votes, Denise Van Horn, 1,092 votes and Candace Matthews, 667 votes. Chin received 651 votes, finishing fourth. Other candidates included Melissa Sadin, 642 votes  and Robert M. Fenster, 377 votes.

Gallagher received 17,348 votes; Levine, 17,118. Their Democratic opponents were Shanel Robinson, receiving 14,215 votes and Alex Avellan, 14,493 votes.

Gallagher received 1,527 votes from Somerville in his bid to become a Somerset County Freeholder; his running mate Levine, received 1,327 votes. Avellan received 1,528 votes, while Robinson received 1,453 votes.

Democrat Steve Peter, Borough Council president, was unsuccessful in his bid to unseat Republican incumbent Bret Radi as County Clerk. Radi won by a margin of 17,182-14,844; Peter received 1,610 votes in Somerville, surpassing the 1,340 votes cast for Radi.

In the 16th District Senate race, incumbent Republican Sen. Christopher “Kip” Bateman defeated Democratic challenger Laurie Poppe by a margin of 31,382-29,472; Bateman received 1,557 votes in Somerville, while Poppe received 1,329 votes.

Democratic incumbent Andrew Zwicker and running mate Roy Freiman won the 16th District Assembly race, beating Republican candidates Donna Simon and Somerset County Freeholder Mark Caligure. Zwicker received 31,962 votes; Freiman, 30,537; Simon, 28,899 and Caliguire, 28,306. In Somerville, Zwicker received 1,709 votes; Freiman, 1,637 votes.  Simon, who lost to Zwicker two years ago, received 1,249 votes; Caligure, 1,239 votes.

Just one minute after polls closed at 8 p.m., two national TV networks – NBC and CNN – projected Phil Murphy as the winner in the Gubernatorial election over Republican Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, based on exit polls. His winning margin statewide was 56 to 43 percent.

Also statewide, voters approved two ballot questions to spend $125 million on new libraries and upgrades and a constitutional amendment which will prevent the diversion of funds dedicated for environmental cleanups to balance the state budget.

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Somerset County Flags at Half-Staff to Honor Grace Gurisic, First Woman Freeholder

July 11, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Somerset County will fly its flags at half-staff July 12 in memory of Grace A. Gurisic, who served as the county’s first woman freeholder more than half a century ago.

Gurisic passed away June 9; she was 84. Funeral services will be held 8:30 a.m. Thursday, July 12, from the Vander May Wayne Colonial Funeral Home in Wayne. A funeral mass will follow at St.