SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Political wonks throughout New Jersey are predicting what may be one of the lowest voter turnouts in a generation in New Jersey. There are no federal positions up for election this year, and the highest ranking position on the ballot happens to be New Jersey State Assembly. The last time this occurred was in 1999 when Joe Torre’s Yankees were beating the Braves in the World Series. Although it may be considered an off year by some, South Plainfield voters will choose from one of the largest field of candidates in a while.
At the municipal level, candidates are vying for two council positions. Republican incumbent Robert Bengivenga is seeking re-election to another three year term with running-mate and newcomer Joe Wolak. The South Plainfield Democratic candidates seeking to upend Bengivenga and Wolak are Bill Bethea and Gary Vesce.
The South Plainfield Board of Education seems to be where much of the local attention is at these days. Seven candidates are vying for three positions. Incumbents Kimberly Anesh, Jim Giannakis, and Bill Seesselberg are each seeking re-election to three-year terms. Looking to play spoiler is a crowded field of newcomers consisting of Douglas Chapman, Barbara Bechtle-Cochrane, Melissa Frazier and Mindy Gerber.
In addition to these local positions, the New Jersey State Assembly’s 18th Legislative District incumbents Patrick J. Diegnan and Nancy Pinkin, both Democrats, are seeking re-election while South Plainfield Councilman and Republican Alex Barletta is challenging Democratic incumbent Elaine Flynn for Middlesex County County Clerk.
The polls open Tuesday, Nov. 3 at 6 a.m. and close 8 p.m.