WEST ORANGE, NJ – The unofficial results are in—and Ronald Charles and Irving Schwarzbaum will be filling West Orange’s two three-year term BOE positions. While Kevin Brady ran a last-minute write-in campaign that garnered respectable results, he was not a winner this year.
Many people supported Charles at his Starlite Pizzeria election headquarters on Tuesday night. They dined on pizza, salad, and pasta with vodka sauce, while chatting about the election.
Mayor Parisi, BOE members Sandra Mordecai and Mark Robertson; Charles’ whole family; West Orange Township Council President Jerry Guarino; residents CC Minton, Barry Geltzeiler and many more attended the party. Applause erupted when the unofficial results were tallied with Charles as a winner and Charles thanked his supporters, family and friends in a heartfelt speech.
At the Essex house, Brady and members of the West Orange 411 Facebook page gathered to await the results.
“I want to thank all the people who supported, voted, and put their trust in me in this election,” said Charles. “It has been a privilege to serve the people in my first term. It will be my honor and privilege to continue for a second term thanks to them, I will continue to provide leadership on the board, while advocating for the children and the community.”
He added, “I would like to publicly thank my wife, Idalina, and my four children: Ronald, Anthony, Michael, and Gabriella for their support and understanding, which allows me to fulfill my commitment to the people of West Orange. Once again, thank you all.”
“Today was quite a day,” said Kevin Brady. “I couldn't be more pleased with the outpouring of support and encouragement I received throughout the day. I met people at St. Cloud and Gregory schools and had some wonderful conversations.”
He added, “The most important thing to take with us from today's outcome is that there is a movement building. What we accomplished today was to show that with even just a little bit of effort, we can energize our community. The most inspiring thing I heard today, from multiple people, was that they went out and voted today because of the recent conversations taking place and they wanted to be a part of that. I hope that we can build upon that sense of civic duty and channel that energy into ideas and actions to make our schools and our town even better. We got involved. Now we must stay involved.”
“Though uncontested, this year’s BOE election generated a little excitement with Kevin Brady’s write-in campaign,” said Parisi. “It was really fascinating to see people mobilize a write-in campaign and I congratulate Kevin for taking that on as it is not easy and the vote total he got really says a lot.”
“I am happy for Ronnie because he has been an active member of this community for a long time and deep down, he is just one of the nicest guys that you ever want to meet,” said Parisi. “I am glad he was reelected and will continue to do what he does well.”
“I don’t know Irv well but I look forward to having a chance to meet him and see how he serves our community,” said Parisi. “I wish him the best of luck.”
West Orange BOE member Mark Robertson said, “I am very happy for my colleague and friend Ron. Ron's commanding win, reaffirms community support. I look forward to continuing the momentum and progress with him on the board and in the district.”
“I want to extend heartfelt congratulations to my new colleague Irv, and welcome him to the board,” he added. “I am sure he is prepared to learn lots and roll up his sleeves in the trenches with our board team.”
He added, “I commend Kevin Brady for a gutsy campaign. Write-in are never easy. This will be his baptism under fire and I know he will run for public office in the future. He has much to contribute to our community.”
“These campaign competitors depict the passion and commitment to public service that thrives in our community,” said Robertson.
“Ron showed strong leadership and fiscal responsibility in working with 0-based budgeting (started from scratch) this year and I am happy he will continue to be a leader on the BOE,” said Councilman Victor Cirillo.
He added, “I wish Irv good luck.”
About Brady, Cirillo said, “I like to see new people getting involved. It’s important and he (Brady) seems to have a bright future. I hope he comes back to run next year.”
Councilwoman and President of the West Orange Chamber of Commerce Susan McCartney summed up the election by saying, “Though it has been a fairly quiet campaign season, these presumably low voter turn-out elections are when you have to work the hardest. Assumptions can never be made.”
Note: Irving Schwarzbaum was contacted for a quote, which was not provided at the time this article was published. If he provides one, it will be added.
To see more photos from election night, HERE.