SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Matthew P. Anesh won re-election to another four years as South Plainfield’s mayor in dramatic fashion. Anesh defeated challenger Chrissy Buteas by a near 2-1 margin, winning 3,683 votes to Buteas’ 1,977.
Anesh’s landslide victory was historic not just due to margin, but also because it is the first time in 52 years a republican mayor won re-election in South Plainfield. The last republican mayor to win re-election was Mayor Robert Baldwin back in 1962, 10 years before the current Mayor was even born.
Councilmen Derryck White and Alex Barletta also won lopsided contests for council with White garnering 3,540 votes, Barletta garnering 3,430 votes and their democratic challengers Joe Lambert receiving 2,118 votes and his running mate Jeffrey Seider receiving 1,969. (These are the unofficial results)
“It is very humbling to be mayor in the town you grew up in,” Anesh said. “To win by this plurality is something I did not expect, and it is an affirmation that the public agrees with the things we are doing for South Plainfield.” Anesh added the following comments during an interview with TAPinto South Plainfield.
Democratic mayoral challenger Chrissy Buteas called Mayor Anesh early in the evening to concede. “Obviously, the results are not what we wanted, but no matter we have to move forward”, said Buteas. “I want to wish Matt and his team all the best.”
“We have the best volunteers in the State of New Jersey”, said Councilman Barletta. “I couldn’t ask for anything better this evening.”
Councilman Derryck White said “South Plainfield residents made their decisions tonight based on results, and not political parties.”
“It is easy to run a campaign when you have great candidates who have done so much for South Plainfield, said Republican Campaign Manager Bob Jones. “They really have worked so hard to make South Plainfield a better place.”
Democratic council challenger Jeffrey Seider said “It’s not the outcome we expected, but we ran a campaign with a lot of class and dignity.”
“We wish to thank all who helped us along the way,” said Lambert. “My running mates are fantastic people and this was a tough haul. We ran a clean campaign, didn’t stoop to their level and can hold our heads up high.”
Municipal Chairwoman April Bengivenga thanked all of the residents who volunteered throughout the campaign. “I am fortunate to work with a group of dedicated residents who worked continuously making phone calls, stuffing envelopes, and supported the team of Anesh, White and Barletta,” said Bengivenga. “We have a wonderful team and I am very proud of Matt, Derryck and Alex as well as Rob Richkus, Ray Rusnak and my son Robert. The entire team is dedicated to the betterment of South Plainfield, and tonight the residents agreed.”
Former Councilman Timmy McConville captured the electricity of the evening and ended with these comments: