Union County News

Union County Democratic Committee Vote: And the Winner is....


CLARK, NJ – The vote for the Union County Democratic Committee (UCDC) chairmanship came to a conclusion Wednesday night when 748 committee members from the county’s 21 municipalities descended on the Gran Centurions in Clark to vote for their new party leader.

State Senator Nick Scutari came away with a 412-341 victory over Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr in a battle that had become quite contentious over the past three weeks with old political alliances being broken.

The candidates went to court on Tuesday over the way the voting would be handled. The Scutari camp argued that the party’s bylaws call for an open ballot. The Mahr camp argued that an open ballot created an environment in which voters could be intimidated and possibly be victims of retaliation if they did not vote the way that local party bosses wanted.

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A group of Democrats supporting Nick Scutari -- Louisa Bianco, of Scotch Plains; the Rev. Reginald Atkins, of Roselle; Lourdes Leon, of Elizabeth; Freeholder Bruce Bergen, of Springfield; and Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded of Westfield -- filed papers in Union County Superior Court to prevent the use of voting booths at the convention.

“The UCDC's rules are clear, and in violating them, she sows disruption and confusion at this meeting. People will not know whether to follow Ms. Mahr or follow the rules,” Rev. Atkins said.

Mahr called the machines "the best way… that voters are assured that they have a right to vote their true feelings."

In the end, Judge Katherine Dupuis ruled against the use of machine ballots. The ruling led to Anthony Salters of Hillside’s dropping out of the race and throwing his support behind Colleen Mahr. Following the decision, attorneys for Mahr and Scutari reached a compromise in which paper ballots were distributed to voters, who were instructed to mark and then sign their names to them, thus making the voting “open.”

“We are dealing with a historic moment here,” Mahr told the crowd. “We have not had a contested election in decades.”

Committee members had a half hour to sign and submit their ballots, which could be counted by delegation chairs before being sent to another room to be certified by auditors.

In the end, Scutari’s strength in Linden (69 voters), Elizabeth (113) and Plainfield (61) proved too much for Mahr, whose support came from nearby suburban towns such as Westfield and Cranford.  Mahr’s campaign was hurt by the fact that many of neighboring Scotch Plains's committee voted for Scutari, who started off by thanking the township and Councilman John Del Sordi during his post-election remarks.

Scutari promised to “be the chairman of all 21 municipalities” in Union County and said “Colleen, you deserve all the praise in the world” before announcing that she would be his first vice chair.

While Mahr supporters were disappointed by the outcome, they were encouraged that the final tally was closer than they might have expected with the open ballot and that women in Union County now seem more willing to challenge the status quo.

“This is the way we do things in America (by voting),” said Linden Mayor Derek Armstead, who ran as Mahr's vice chair. “We don’t send in the tanks.” 

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Union County, N.J. Horse Farm Quarantined, 1st Case of EHM In State In '18

March 17, 2018

TRENTON, N.J. – The New Jersey Department of Agriculture has quarantined a property in Union County after a horse developed the highly infectious equine herpes myeloencephalopathy (EHM). EHM is the often deadly neurologic form of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) infection. No recent movement had occurred at the index property prior to this case. 

The horse has been moved into the ...

Unity and purpose will allow Democrats to unseat Lance

March 11, 2018

In November, we have a chance to unseat Leonard Lance, Congressman for the NJ-7 district which includes Springfield. Leonard Lance voted to take away healthcare from his constituents and recently stood by as his party passed a tax plan in which his district became the second most negatively impacted district in the COUNTRY.  Lance is an enemy of a woman’s right to control her body but ...

Rutgers voices support for proposed state budget

March 15, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK - Rutgers University officials have often been wary of the governor's annual budget message, wondering what type of budget cuts the university may sustain and how it would potentially impact tuition and the overall quality of education.

This budget message, delivered March 13, appears to be a sigh of relief.

Pete McDonough, Vice President of External Affairs at ...

Union County's March For Our Lives - County Wide March Planned

March 17, 2018

March 24 at 10 a.m. Students of Union County will march to make sure that our schools are safe. The march will start at Burnet Middle School (1000 Caldwell Avenue, Union). It will end at the Union Township City Council Offices (1976 Morris Avenue, Union). All looking to protect American children by strengthening our laws and stand with the victims of all shootings inside places of education, are ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, March 18, 11:00 AM

The Cora Hartshorn Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary , Short Hills

March Guided Hike at the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum ...

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Sun, March 18, 11:00 AM

The Cora Hartshorn Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary, Short Hills

March Guided Hike at the Cora Hartshorn ...

Education Green

Sun, March 18, 2:00 PM

Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts, Maplewood

Maplewood Strollers Present John Patrick ...

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