WESTFIELD, NJ — The mayor and four incumbent Democratic candidates announced that they are seeking reelection.

Mayor Shelley Brindle along with council members Linda Habgood, Mike Dardia, David Contract and Dawn Mackey in a news release Friday announced their bids for reelection. Monday is the deadline for candidates to file petitions to run in the June primary.

“Thank you for giving me the incredible privilege to serve as your mayor for the last four years,” said Brindle, who in 2017 ousted Westfield’s longest serving mayor, Republican Andy Skibitsky. “Our team is excited and eager to continue to represent your interests and to finish what we started.”

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The Westfield Republican Committee had in February announced its candidates for office.

Referring to the town’s 2019 spending plan, the Westfield Democratic Committee said that Brindle delivered “the first zero percent municipal tax increase in decades.” That tax rate came as the town conducted a revaluation that increased the average assessed value to align with the housing market.

The Democratic Committee said Brindle fulfilled many of her campaign promise including “improvements to road paving, communication, automation, historic preservation and more.”

The Democrats also pointed to the town’s reexamination of its master plan and the development of a strategic parks plan as among Brindle’s accomplishments, and the committee said Brindle looks forward to the next phase of those plans’ implementation, which is “poised to transform Westfield’s historic downtown and recreation facilities.”

Before to serving as mayor, Brindle spent a 27-year career at HBO where she was the first and only woman in the C-suite as the EVP, Domestic Distribution and Marketing, overseeing HBO’s $4.5 billion domestic subscription business, the release said.

Habgood, a First Ward councilwoman and deputy mayor, is a four-year chair of the council’s finance policy committee, a planning board member and a co-founder of the Westfield Mental Health Council, the release said. She is running for a second term.

“Her efforts have resulted in cost savings and flexibility in our municipal budget, as evidenced by outsourcing the school crossing guards, leasing police vehicles and advocating for shared services in the Court and elsewhere,” the committee said.

Habgood is co-chair of Delphos International, a financial advisory firm at which she secures debt and equity capital for emerging markets’ projects, the release said.

Dardia, a Second Ward councilman, is running for a second term. He serves on the council’s public works committee and chairs the pedestrian safety, transportation and parking committee, the release said.

Under Dardia’s leadership, the town has created a pedestrian safety task force to improve walkability on Central Avenue and an evolving town-wide bike/walk plan, the Westfield Democrats said.

“Dardia’s experience over two decades as a healthcare executive gives him the know-how to creatively address complex problems and make a real difference in the quality of life for Westfield residents,” the release said.

Contract, a Third Ward councilman, also seeks a second term. He serves as chair of the public works committee, vice chair of the finance committee and is liaison to the Westfield Green Team and Lifelong Westfield, the release said.

“Under his leadership as chair of the public works committee, Westfield nearly tripled the number of roads paved, and his work on the Finance Committee has helped keep taxes at their lowest in over 10 years,” the Democratic Committee said.

Mackey, a Fourth Ward Councilwoman, seeks a second term. She serves as the chair of the council’s code review and property committee, is the chairperson and creative director of AddamsFest and is a liaison to Downtown Westfield Corporation and the Westfield Public Arts Commission, the release said.

“From the big to the small and the glorious to the mundane, Councilwoman Dawn Mackey has shown Westfield she not only listens, but she acts,” the committee said.

Email Matt Kadosh at mkadosh@tapinto.net | Twitter: @MattKadosh

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