WEST ORANGE, NJ — According to the unofficial election results provided by the Essex County Clerk’s Office, Jennifer Tunnicliffe and Gary Rothstein have been selected to serve on the West Orange Board of Education. They will fill the two open seats on the board.
The unofficial results determined that Tunnicliffe pulled ahead with nearly 44 percent of the vote, or 3,976 total votes. Rothstein tallied a total of 2,780 votes, or 31 percent, and Jeremias Salinas Jr. received 25 percent, or 2,304 votes.
"Thank you to the West Orange voters for electing me to our Board of Education," Rothstein said. "I’m excited to get to work celebrating our incredible schools and their many successes, increasing transparency and community participation, and improving educational outcomes and district rankings. I’m grateful to all the volunteers and supporters of my campaign—your efforts made this possible."
Rothstein, an 11-year resident of West Orange, currently works as the account director at a marketing agency. He and his wife, Sheena Kitchen, have one daughter, who is a seventh-grader at Roosevelt Middle School.
Rothstein congratulated Tunnicliffe on her win, stating that he looks forward to working with her, and thank both Tunnicliffe and Salinas "for a respectful campaign and unforgettable experience."
Tunnicliffe earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration/marketing from the College of St. Elizabeth in Morristown. She currently works in Student Affairs and Wellbeing at Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall. She and her husband have lived in West Orange for 17 years and have three children.
"Thank you to the West Orange community for electing me to serve as one of the board of education members for the next three years," said Tunnicliffe. "I am grateful for your support and entrusting me with the important work of ensuring continual student achievement and safety in our schools."
Tunnicliffe echoed Rothstein in thanking her opponents for running "wonderful campaigns," adding that all three candidates "share many of the same values and ideas."
"Throughout this campaign, me and my team got to know the residents of West Orange a little better, and it reaffirms my decision to serve our community in this important role," she said. "I am proud of the campaign we ran and of my small but mighty team."
Noting that campaigns "are not run in isolation," Tunniclife acknowledged her capaign manager, LeeEtta Sutton; Julie Schenk, her treasurer; John Berzolla, who designed her logo and campaign literature; Blake Smith, who helped consult on marketing; and "everyone who supported [her] through financial contributions, hosting coffees, canvassing, writing endorsement letters or posts, or even providing necessary words of encouragement at critical times."
"Finally, I want to give a shout out to my amazing teen team, led by Brooke Schenk," she said. "These kids asked questions about the campaign process and were eager to roll up their sleeves and lend a hand whenever asked. These energetic and intellectually curious students are the future of our Nation. I look forward to serving all constituents in West Orange but most importantly our students."
According to the Essex County Clerk's Office, 3,859 mail-in ballots were sent out to West Orange Township residents, with 1,172 returned as of Tuesday.
The results of this election are not considered official until they are certified by the state.