Fall Elections 2018



By Walter Elliott

NEWARK - Essex County Clerk Chris Durkin and his Election Division staff may be excused Nov. 7 for not being available to give their views on General Election 2018.

Durkin and his employees are still counting what may well be an increased volume of Vote By Mail, emergency, provisional and absentee ballots that have been coming in since Oct. 15.

Oct. 15 was when the elections division and the Essex County Board of Elections have been receiving early ballots. This year was also the first where Early Voting Stations were posed here at the Essex County Hall of Records' Room 247 and at West Orange's Turtle Back Zoo Education Building.

They could not count those ballots, by state law, until the actual General Election Day - Nov. 6, 2018.

It is therefore too early to tell whether early voting opportunities, increased voter registration and/or participation have made the difference in elections from the municipal level to the federal level.

Durkin and company are also dealing with a South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education and West Orange Council election where to-be-counted ballots and/or recounts may determine their outcome. There may also be a challenge coming from one of the New Jersey 34th Legislative District candidates.

The following are based on results posted by Durkin 10:42 p.m. Tuesday. They remain unofficial until Nov. 20, baring voting and/or legal challenges.


Senate. A majority of participating registered Essex County and New Jersey voters returned Robert Menendez (Democrat-Harrison) to Capitol Hill.

Menendez, with 93 percent of the county's 558 voting machine polling districts reporting as of 10:42 p.m. Nov. 6, drew 156,805 votes for 76.40 percent.

Top challenger Bob Hugin (Republican-Summit) drew 43,599 voters among all 21 Essex County municipalities for 21.24 percent.

Madalyn R. Hoffman (Green Party-Flanders) was "best of the rest" in the county with 1,185 or .58 percent. Kevin Kimple (Keep It Simple-Edison) came in fourth at 1,024 or .5 percent.

Tricia Flanagan (New Day NJ-Lawrenceville) was fifth with 887 for .43. Natalie Lynn Rivera (For The People-Merchantville) was next with 731 for .36. Former gubernatorial candidate Murray Sabrin (Libertarian-Ft. Lee) came in at 641 for .31.

Hank Schroeder (Economic Growth-Sea Girt) completed the balloted field at 197 for .10. 172 write-in votes comprised the remaining .08.

Menendez, among all 21 New Jersey counties, received 1,470,799 votes against Hugin’s 1,211,408. Their results translate to a 53.1/43.8 percentage share of New Jersey's vote. The results are from 98 percent of the state's 6,346 polling districts reporting.

Hoffman, for the record, tallied 21,227 for .08. Following were: Sabrin at 18,722 for .7; Rivera, 16,895 for .6; Kimple 7,941 for .03 and Schroeder, 7,850 for .3.

House of Representatives Eighth Congressional District. Incumbent Albio Sires (D-West New York) carried Essex County's part of the district with 17,753 or 78.74 percent of the vote. Top challenger John. R. Muniz (R-Jersey City) came in at 4,216 for 18.74.

Mahmoud Mahmoud (New Way Forward-Jersey City) tallied 434 for 1.29. Dan Delaney (Lib.-Jersey City) garnered 129 for .57. There were 14 write-in votes.

10th CD. Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-Newark) was re-elected by 92,484 voters or 92.3 percent. Agha Kahn (R-Jersey City) was second at 5,872 or 5.86.

Following were Joanne Miller (Never Give Up-Newark), 941 for .94; Cynthia Johnson (C4C 2018-Glen Ridge) 616 or .61 and Scott DiRoma (Lib.-East Orange) 234 for .23. There were 49 write-in votes.

11th CD. A majority of this district's Essex County voters helped Mikie Sherrill (D-Upper Montclair) succeed the retiring Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-Harding Twp.). Sherrill earned 42,968 for 64.86. Former New Jersey General Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Parsippany) tallied 25,288 for 33.12.

Robert F. Crook (Independent-Essex Fells) placed third at 573 for .75 and Ryan Martinez (Lib.-Butler) fourth at 222 for .29. There were 14 write-ins.


Britnee Timberlake (D-East Orange) has been elected to succeed Sheila Y. Oliver (D-East Orange) by a 9.1-to-1 ratio. There may be a challenge from her top runner-up, however, due to a late-October VBM and sample ballot misprint.

Former Essex County Freeholder Timberlake, who was appointed to succeed now-Lt. Governor Oliver, tallied 33,103 for 92.31.

It is not known, as of Noon, Nov. 7, whether Irene DeVita (R-Clifton) will challenge the results. DeVita, at least for now, placed second at 2,161 or 6.03.

Friends of DeVita alerted her and Durkin in late October that her name was left of the mail-in and sample ballots they received in East Orange, Orange and Montclair; ballots in Clifton, handled by the Passaic County Clerk, were not affected.

Durkin, who called the omission a "printing error" Nov. 1, sent some 4,700 corrected ballots to Essex County's LD-34 voters.

Rev. Clenard Howard Childress, Jr. (Ind.-Montclair) tallied 583 for 1.63. there were 15 write-ins with 95 percent of the county's districts reporting.

STATE PUBLIC QUESTION. Essex County voters joined the state in approving a $500 million bond issue to improve county vocational-technical schools, beef up school, security and start selected water infrastructure revamping.

72,852 voters said "Yes" to State Question One for 66.61 percent, 36,521 voters, or 33.31 percent said "No" with 93 percent of county districts reporting. 1,028,001 voters, or 52.1 percent statewide approved against 941,088 "No" voters or 47.9 with 97.1 percent of districts reporting.


All four Essex County Democratic Committee candidates were elected or returned to respective offices by wide margins.

County Executive. Joseph DiVincenzo (D-Roseland) was returned by 167,018 voters for 80.59 percent.  John Chiaia (R-North Caldwell) drew 34,787 for 16.78. John Jay Arena (Ind.-Newark) tallied 5,266 for .09. There were 184 write-ins.

County Sheriff. 164,799 voters, or 81.25 of this vote, extended Armando Fontoura (D-Fairfield)'s incumbency record. Pasquale Capozzoli (R-West Caldwell) amassed 37,836 for 18.65. There were 194 write-ins.

County Surrogate. Alturrick Kenney (D-Newark) got voters' nod to succeed now-Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore "Ted" Stephens II.

Kenney - a former NPS BOE member and aide to Newark Mayor Sharpe James - amassed 159,832 for 79.46. John Anello (R-Belleville) drew 41,161 for 20.46. There were 166 write-ins.

Freeholder Third District. Tyshammie Cooper (D-East Orange), except for 52 write-in votes, ran unopposed to succeed Timberlake as freeholder.

Cooper - whose current duties include being an East Orange Third Ward Councilwoman, Orange Public Library Trustee and Chief of Staff to Orange Mayor Dwayne D. Warren - drew 35,123 votes for 99.85.


Newark Public Question. Voters in New Jersey's largest city chose to keep electing the Newark Public Schools Board of Education by a three-to-one plurality.

4,769 people, or 24.27, said "Yes" to the question of reverting the NPSBOE to a mayor-appointed board, as it was before 1983-84. 14,879 voters, or 74.73, voted "No" to continue their annual elections. An overall 19,648 cast votes on the question with 90 percent of polling stations reporting.

East Orange Council. Christopher Awe ran virtually unopposed to his first elected term as Second Ward Councilman. Awe received 2,636 for 99.92. There were two write-in votes. Awe was appointed last summer to succeed outgoing Council President Romal Bullock.

Orange Board of Education. A majority of city voters chose one slate of three candidates over another in Orange's first election for full board of education terms.

Siaka Sherif, whom voters elected March 13 to a pioneering eight-month term, was Tuesday's top vote- getter. The "Parents Together for Education" team leader amassed 2,280 votes for 30.42.

PTE running mates Brenda Daughtery and Derrick Henry swept the other two Orange Board of Education seats. Daugherty, a former appointed board member, garnered 1,974 for 26.34. Henry, in his third OBOE challenge, tallied 1,952 for 26.05.

Incumbent OBOE member Rhoda O. Irodia received 630 for 8.41. First-time runner Hamza S. Agwedicham was next at 365 for 4.87. Incumbent Jarteau Israel received 277 for 3.7.

There were 16 write-ins with 89 percent of districts reporting.

Orange Open Space Trust Fund Question. City voters, on a 3:1 ratio, approved designating a portion of their municipal property taxes to establish an open space trust fund. 2,810 said "Yes" against 1,968 who said "No" for a 56.16/43.84 split with 94 percent of district reporting.

South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education's results are the first of two local elections that are too close to call as of 5 p.m. Nov. 7.

Second-time solo candidate Shannon Cuttle barely tops the eight runners and 11 on Tuesday's ballot. Cuttle, of Maplewood, has 6,910 for 17.21.

Incumbent South Orange villager Annemarie Maini, however, has 6,900 for 17.18. Maini running mate Javier Farfan currently locks up the three South Orange-Maplewood School District seats with 5,660 or 14.09.

Narda Chisholm-Greene and running mate Michael Laskowski are currently "the best of the rest." Chisholm-Greene has 5,537 for 13.79; fellow first-timer Laskowski 5,016 for 12.49.

Following are: Bruno J. Navarro, at 2,757 for 6.86; Marian Cutler, 2,649 at 6.60; and Christopher Trzaska, at 1,840 for 4.58. There are 89 write-in votes.

Felisha George, Avery Julien and James C. Wilkes - who ended their campaigns too late to have their names struck from the ballot - are ranked ninth-11th.

Maplewood Township Committee: Incumbent Democrats Nancy Adams and Gary Lembrich were re-elected over independent candidate Ileana Alexandra Castillo.

Former Deputy Mayor Adams tallied 9,619 for 47.63 and Lembrich 9353 for 46.31. Castillo mustered 1,175 for 5.82. There were 50 write-ins.

West Orange Mayor. Township voters gave Robert Parisi a third term over challenging Councilman Joe Krakoviak. Parisi tallied 11,316 for 65.95. Krakoviak mustered 5,811 for 33.87. There were 32 write-ins.

West Orange Council. Voters, in the area's second "too-close-to-call" election, retained one incumbent but may have replaced the other one with a newcomer.

Former Township Council President Susan McCartney was Tuesday's top vote-getter. She drew 7,025 for 26.41.

Cindy Matute-Brown, as of 10:42 p.m. Nov. 6, is turning back fellow challenger Monica Perkowski and turning out Councilman Victor Cirilo.

Matute-Brown has 5,483 for 20.61; Perkowski has 4,828 for 18.15 and Cirilo 4,626 for 17.39. Susan Scarpa has 4,599 for 17.29. There are 37 write-ins.

West Orange Public Question. Just over half of township voters picked a "Special Needs Playground for Inclusive Play" over three other proposals for their government to pursue.

The playground project in the non-binding question drew 3,826 or 50.64. Making sidewalk repairs along part of Pleasant Valley Way drew second best at 1,921 or 25.42.

Establishing an emergency AM radio station placed third at 1,036 or 13.71. Making handicapped parking and related improvements at the Oscar Schindler Performing Arts Center drew 773 for 10.23 with 95 percent of districts reporting.

Bloomfield Council. Councilman Richard Rockwell, except for 42 write-ins, ran unopposed to his first fully-elected term. Rockwell, who was appointed when Carlos Pomares was elected to the Essex County Freeholder board, drew 10,496 for 99.6.

Bloomfield Board of Education. Voters returned two school board members but turned a third into a lame duck in the process.

Former BBOE member Michael Heller topped the eight candidate field with 4,821 or 19.89. Ralph Walker, at 3,977 or 16.41 and former president Shane Berger, at 3,449 or 14.23, locked up the other two three-year seats.

Jody Polidoro, at 3,064 or12.64, was "best of the rest." Dick Wolfe, at 2,952 or 12.18; Julien Maculen, at 2,681 or 1106; current BBOE Vice President Daniel Anderson, at 1,644 or 6/78 and Laura Izurieta, at 1,597 or 6.59, followed. There were 51 write-ins.

Former panelist Benjamin Morse was returned to fill an unexpired one-year term. Morse tallied 3,265 or 58.12. Opponent Bryan Crawley got 2,341 or41.67. There were 12 write-ins.

Glen Ridge Council. Civic Conference Committee-endorsed incumbents Ann Marie Morrow and Paul A. Lisovicz were returned to the Borough Council against 21 write-in votes. Morrow drew 1,445 for 50.24; Lisovicz 1,410 for 49.03.

Glen Ridge Board of Education. First-time runner Teresa Boyle-Vellucci ended up as Tuesday's top vote-getter here. Boyle-Vellucci drew 2,073 or 29.78.

Fellow newcomer Anthony Bonnett was next up at 1,730 or 24.85. Voters retained incumbent David J. Campbell, at 1,688 or 24.25, but turned out Timothy Keppel at 1,439 or20.67. There were 32 write-ins.

Belleville Board of Education. Voters returned to board leaders and filled a third, unexpired term from among four candidates.

BBOE Vice President Nelson Barrera, at 3,588 for 40.93, was the top vote-getter. Board President Christine Lamparello was also returned at 3,368 for 38.42.

Olga Setteduvato, in her second board bid, drew 1,769 for 20.18. There were 42 write-ins.

Second-time candidate Gynise M. Gotto was overwhelmingly chosen to fill a one-year unexpired term. Gotto amassed 2,554 for 99.18. There were 21 write-ins.

Nutley Board of Education. Township voters replaced three incumbents with a former NBOE member and two newcomers. Kenneth J. Reilly, who resigned from the board in 2016 due to illness, was Tuesday's top vote-getter. He amassed 4,076 for 19.91.

Voters also swept in first-time runners Theresa "Teri" Quirk and Erica Zarro. Zarro garnered 3,673 for 17.94 and Quirk 3,384 for 16.53. They and Reilly ran together.

Deborah J. Russo led the now-outgoing NBOE members with 3,377 for 16.50. Salvatore Balsamo was next at 3,104 or 15.16 with Ryan Kline following at 2,795 for 13.65. There were 61 write-ins.

Nutley Public Schools Questions. Township voters said "No" and "No" to both school construction bond questions that would have cost an overall $66.97 million.

Question One - which asked for $37.85 million to renovate part of Nutley High School, expand Walker Junior High and replace trailers at Washington and Yantacaw schools with classrooms - was turned down 3,744-3,356. The 52.73/47.27 split was with 90 percent of districts reporting.

The first question's downing made Question Two, where the remaining bond would have gone to finish multipurpose rooms at Washington and Yantacaw and add an NHS media center, moot. "No" to Question Two prevailed anyway, 3,817-3,185 for a 54.51/45.49 split.


By Walter Elliott

NEWARK - The 2018 General Election, depending one's perspective, will make history - if it has not already.

Voters in New Jersey and the "Local Talk News" area, for the first time, will have several opportunities to cast their ballots ahead of the first Tuesday in November.

The area's early-voting season, according to Essex County Clerk Chris Durkin, opened with the first reception of Vote-by-Mail Ballots to his Hall of Records Election Division here Oct. 13. Those ballots must either be postmarked or received in the hall's Room 247 on or by 4 p.m. Nov. 6.

Registered voters may also cast their ballots at two county Early Voting Centers now through 3 or 4 p.m. Nov. 5.

Durkin had opened the county's first satellite EVC at the Turtle Back Zoo's Education Building, 560 Northfield Ave. The machines and provisional ballots are to be open there 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Nov. 1, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 2, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Nov. 3 and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 5.

The Hall of Records EVC is in Rm. 247 here at 645 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. The hall's hours are 8:30-4 p.m. weekdays.

The Nov. 6 General Election is also the first one in New Jersey where those who voted by mail in the Nov. 8, 2016 General/Presidential Election are to have VBMBs automatically mailed to your address at that time.

Those who meet the said criteria but have not received their VBMBs will have to fill out provisional ballots at their local voting machine polling stations Nov. 6. They will not be allowed, by state VBMB law since Aug. 10, to use a voting machine that day.

Whether the early returns and new voting options will translate to a greater turnout, Durkin and his staff cannot tell until after the polls close 8 p.m. Tuesday. Durkin and his colleagues in the state's 20 other counties cannot count them until Nov. 6.

The results may even be more unofficial than usual after Nov. 6's polls close. Durkin's employees may need more time to sort through any VBMB confusion.

The above-said is in addition to the personnel, policy and funding choices that come with most General Elections. This year's choices may affect the balance of political party power in Congress to the future form of the Newark Public Schools Board of Education.

Who and what are 'Local Talk" registered voters deciding are, in summary:


U.S. Senate: Incumbent Robert Menendez (D-Harrison) and main challenger Robert Hugin (R-Summit) have been attacking each other's reputation in visual and print mediums since just after their respective June 5 party primaries.

Other candidates for consideration are: Madelyn R. Hoffman, Green Party-Flanders; Murray Sabrin, Libertarian-Fort Lee; Tricia Flanagan, New Day NJ-Lawrenceville; Kevin Kimple, Keep it Simple-Edison; Natalie Lynn-Riveria, For The People-Merchantville; Hank Schroeder, Economic Growth-Sea Girt.

House of Representatives Eighth Congressional District (Including Belleville and Newark's North and East Wards) Sires (D-West New York) and John R. Muniz (R-Jersey City).

Also challenging are Dan Delaney, Libertarian-Hoboken and Mahmoud Mahmoud, New Way Forward-Jersey City.

H.R. 10th CD (Including East Orange, Glen Ridge, Irvington, Maplewood, Orange and South Orange plus southern parts of Bloomfield, Montclair, West Orange and the rest of Newark)

Incumbent Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-Newark) is pitted against main challenger Agha Kahn (R-Jersey City). Other candidates are Scott Droma, Libertarian-East Orange; Cynthia Johnson, C4C 2018-Glen Ridge and Joanne Miller, Never Give Up-Newark.

H.R. 11th CD (Including Nutley, northern parts of Bloomfield, Montclair and West Orange)

The media battle between Mikie Sherrill (D-Upper Montclair) and Jay Webber (R-Parsippany) over who will succeed the retiring Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-Harding Twp.) concentrated mostly on presenting themselves that casting shade at their opponents.

Other runners are Ryan Martinez, Libertarian-Butler, Robert F. Crook, Honesty, Integrity, Compassion-Essex Fells.

N.J. GENERAL ASSEMBLY 34th DISTRICT (East Orange, Montclair, Orange and Passaic County's Clifton).

Former Essex County Freeholder Britnee N. Timberlake (D-East Orange), who was appointed to succeed now-Lt. Governor Sheila Y. Oliver Jan. 9, is looking for her first full elected term.

Challenging are Irene Devita (R-Clifton) and Rev. Clenard Childress (Stop the Insanity-Montclair).

STATEWIDE PUBLIC QUESTION REFERENDUM. State Public Question 1 calls for voters to permit issuing $500 million worth of bonds to fund vocational school and community college education grants, water infrastructure and school security.


County Executive: Incumbent Joseph N. DiVincenzo (D-Roseland) is pitted against John Chiaia (R-North Caldwell) and Jay Arena (Jobs and Equal Rights for ALL-Newark).

Sheriff: Incumbent Armando R. Fontoura (D-Fairfield) is squaring off against challenger Pasquale Capozzoli (R-West Caldwell).

Surrogate: Alturrick Kenney (D-Newark) is up against John Anello (R-Belleville) to succeed Theodore Stephens II. Gov. Phil Murphy (D-Rumson) tabbed Stephens (D-East Orange) as Acting Essex County Prosecutor Aug. 31.

District Three Freeholder (East Orange, Orange, South Orange and Newark's West Ward).

Tyshammie Cooper (D-East Orange) is looking to succeed the appointed Jeanine Bauer (D-South Orange). Bauer, a former South Orange Trustee, was appointed when Britnee Timberlake was promoted to the State Assembly.

Cooper, a public library trustee and Mayor Dwayne D. Warren's chief of staff in Orange, is running virtually unopposed.


NOTE: Boards of education, by state statute, are nonpartisan and non-political offices. Most public school districts, with their voters' approval, have moved their elections from the traditional third Tuesday in April onto the general Election ballot.

Newark BOE Public Question: Registered city voters, as part of the Newark Public Schools' three-year return to local autonomy, are being asked whether its board of education remain an elected panel or return to a mayor-appointed panel.

The NPSBOE had been mayor-appointed until a majority of 1983 voters switched to an elected board. The nine-member board has since held annual elections for three seats - including its 1995-2018 period as an "Advisory BoE" under state control.

Orange BOE: City voters get to choose from six candidates to fill, for the first-time, three seats that have full three-year terms.

Siaka Sherif, who was elected to an eight-month term March 13, is seeking his first full-term. He is running with former appointed board member Brenda Daughtery and Orange Historical Preservation Committee Member Derrick Henry on their newly-formed Parents Together for Education ticket.

Incumbent appointees Rhoda O. Irodia and Jarteau Israel are also seeking their first elected terms. Hazma S. Agwedicham is making his first challenge.

Orange Public Question: The question asks city voters whether to start an open space trust fund by dedicating a set portion of their property taxes.

South Orange-Maplewood BOE: Eight candidates from both towns are looking to fill three seats.

Sole running incumbent Annemarie Miani, of South Orange, has teamed up with running mate and Maplewood resident Javier A. Farfan. Sole South Orange challenger Narda Chisolm-Greene has paired up with Maplewoodian Michael Laskowski as "Advocates for All."

Shannon Cutler and Christopher Trzaska, both first-time runners from Maplewood, have their own platform. Bruno J. Navarro and Shannon "Safe Schools" Cuttle are running solo efforts.

Maplewood Township Committee: Incumbent Democrats Nancy Adams and Greg Lembrich are running against independent Iliana A. Castillo.

West Orange Mayor-Council: Incumbent Robert Parisi and Councilman Joe Krakoviak are squaring off as West Orange's next mayor in the township's first nonpartisan municipal election held in November.

Incumbent Victor Cirilo and challengers Cindy Matute-Brown and Monica Perkowski are vying for two council seats.

West Orange BOE: Cheryl Merklinger, Jeremias Salinas and Terry Trigg-Scales, all first-time runners, are vying for two WOBOE seats. 

Bloomfield Council: Incumbent Democrat Richard Rockwell is looking to complete the last year of an unexpired at-large term in this special election.

Bloomfield Board of Education: Former BBOE member Benjamin Morse and challenger Bryan Crawley are looking to fill Gladys Rivera's last year.

Incumbents Daniel Anderson, Michael Heller and Laura Izurieta are squaring off for three full-term seats against former BBOE President Shane Berger and challengers Joey Polidoro, Ralph Walker and Dick Wolfe.

Belleville Board of Education: Board President Christine Lamparello and Vice President Nelson Barrera are the two incumbents vying for the three open seats. BOE Trustee Arlene Schor, who was appointed July 16, is making good her promise not to seek a new elected term.

Gynise M. Gotto and Olga Setteducato, who also vied with Schor July 16 for the BOE vacancy, are challenging.

Glen Ridge Borough Council: Incumbents Ann Marie Morrow and Paul A. Liscovicz are running unopposed and with Civic Conference Committee endorsement. (The borough technically holds nonpartisan municipal elections.)

Glen Ridge BOE: Board Vice President David J. Campbell and fellow incumbent Tim Keppel are facing challengers Anthony Bonneta and Teresa Boyle-Vellucci.

Nutley BOE Incumbents Salvatore Balsano, Ryan Kline and Deborah J. Russo are facing former panelist Kenneth Reilly and challengers Teresa A. "Teri" Quirk and Erica Zarro.

Nutley BOE Public Question: Township voters have a two-stage referendum question, with an overall $67 million price tag, to consider.

The first question is whether to issue bonds to replace trailers at the Washington and Yantacaw schools with classrooms, expand the John Walker Middle School and renovate part of Nutley High School. The second question, pending the first's approval, asks to build a media center at NHS and finish multipurpose rooms at Washington and Yantacaw.



By Walter Elliott

NEWARK - East Ward Council candidate Anthony Campos and his attorney John M. "Jack" Carbone, of Ridgewood, are to have their day in court before Judge Thomas Vena here Sept. 18 - a day which may result in a special ward election as early as Dec. 11.

State Superior Court Judge Vena, from his Historic Courthouse Room 401 here Aug. 1, set the Sept. 18 date after he found Campos' claims of irregularities and improprieties in his June 12 runoff election against incumbent Augusto Amador "had satisfied the evidence requirements for the case to go to trial."

Campos and Carbone, in their July 12 filing, assert that the problems they found during June 12 affected at least 295 votes cast in the East Ward. A majority of the 3,534 participating voters re-elected Amador over Campos and nine write-in votes, 1824-1,741.

Amador's voters gave the 20-year incumbent an 83-vote plurality - a narrower victory margin than the 269-vote lead over Campos in the May 8 primary.

Amador received 1,524 votes to Campos' 1,255 May 8 plus three other on-ballot runners and 12 write-ins. The Baraka "Newark Forward" team member received 42.97 percent of that day's votes - when he needed at least 50 percent to avoid the June 12 runoff.

What Campos and Carbone are arguing, however, goes beyond the 110-vote plurality.

The plaintiffs said, on July 12 and Aug. 1, that 123 votes cast June 12 were made by residents who live outside the East Ward. Another 168 votes that day were made by voters whose "signatures did not match signatures on file with election officials."

Campos, through Carbone, also listed issues with voting machine errors, mailed-in and provisional ballots and, as in their July 12 filing, "violation of machine security, wrongful access to voting machines or misconduct of the district board of elections which would challenge the election's results."

The petitioners assert that Maria Riberio, Amador's Chief of Staff, performed as a designated district board worker while simultaneously conducting get-out-the-vote activities for Amador's campaign during the June 12 runoff.

Amador, when asked about the prospective Sept. 18 trial Aug. 16, took exception to the claim that Riberio did anything wrong.

"Nothing was done illegally," said Amador. “In fact, I saw voter coercion, suppression and intimidation on the streets.”

The Amador-Campos runoff was one of three held in Newark's East, Central and West wards. Their results gave Mayor Baraka's Newark Forward 2018 candidates a sweep of all Municipal Council seats.

The East Ward Council race, both May 8 and June 12, was heavily contested. Amador's elected colleagues from the council, the Baraka team and the Essex County Democratic Committee appeared on The Ironbound's streets to get out the vote both dates and beforehand.

Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura (D-Fairfield) was among those who knocked on doors and called residents' phones to support Amador over retired Newark police director Campos.

Campos, since his 2016 retirement, started an Ironbound-based political action committee that have made inroads on the ECDC's ward district leaders.

Amador, however, reminded a reporter Aug. 16 that the burden of impropriety proof lies with Campos.

"All of this effort is to justify spending another $500,000 on an election he has already lost - twice," concluded Amador.

Vena, who has become familiar in ruling on recent "Local Talk" area voting disputes, may take the very rare step on or after Sept. 18 to declare the East Ward June 12 null and void - and to order a new election there.

The Sept 18 trial, however, would mean that Dec. 11 would be the earliest date when Essex County Clerk Chris Durkin can hold that prospective special election. Amador and Campos, at the least, would have to file petitions with sufficient valid voter signatures before 4 p.m.

The prospective special election will not make the Nov. 6 General Election ballot. The Sept. 18 trial will start after the Sept. 6 filing deadline.

The Nutley Public Schools held a Dec. 12 special election on a $70 million school construction bond referendum question. Nutley voters denied that bond issue 2,380-1,879.


By Walter Elliott

NEWARK - Thirty-Four candidates - running as Democrats, Republicans, "minor party" or independent candidates - have filed with Essex County Clerk Chris Durkin to compete for 13 seats from "Local Talk" town halls to Capitol Hill in the Nov. 6 General Election.

Statewide and national observers, for example, are watching the race for Sen. Robert Menendez's U.S. Senate seat. Main challenger Bob Hugin and his Republican supporters have aired their campaign ads on television the last two weeks.

Eyes are also fixed on New Jersey's 11th Congressional District race on who will succeed the retiring Rodney Frelinghuysen. Five major and minor party candidates had filed petitions here by 4 p.m. June 5.

Those two races' results may help tip the balance of political power in Congress towards the Democratic or Republican parties. The races may also double as a midterm report card on President Donald J. Trump's administration.

Voters' endorsements are also sought among eight other races, from the U.S. House of Representatives to municipal council.

The following summary represents most - but not all - of the sample ballots "Local Talk" voters will get in their mail by Oct. 31.

School board races and at least two related public questions among "Local Talk" towns were covered here last week. Durkin's Election Division staff is leaving ballot space open for any more public questions until 4 p.m. Sept. 6 here at the Hall of Records.



Statewide voters are to choose from among eight candidates on their ballots to succeed Robert Menendez.

Menendez (D-Harrison) is running for re-election. Republicans have fielded Bob Hugin, of Summit, as their challenger.

The Green Party has entered Madelyn R. Hoffman, of Flanders, by filing petitions before 4 p.m. June 5. The Libertarian Party likewise entered Murray Sabrin, of Fort Lee.

Tricia Flanagan, of Lawrenceville, is running as a "New Day NJ" independent. Kevin Kimple, of Edison, is under his own "Keep It Simple" banner. Natalie Lynn Rivera, of Merchantville, is flying her "For The People" flag. Hank Schroeder, of Sea Girt, is running on his "Economic Growth" platform.

House of Representatives

Eighth Congressional District (Belleville, Newark's North and East Wards, Union County's Elizabeth, Bergen County's Fairview, eight Hudson County municipalities plus parts of Bayonne, Jersey City and Kearny):

Eighth CD voters are to choose among incumbent Albio Sires (D-West New York) and three challengers on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Republicans have nominated John R. Muniz, of Jersey City.

Libertarians have fielded Dan Delaney, of Hoboken, as their candidate. Mahmoud Mahmoud, of Jersey City, is running as a "New Way Forward" candidate.

10th CD (East Orange, Glen Ridge, Irvington, Maplewood, Orange, South Orange; lower parts of Bloomfield, Montclair, West Orange, the rest of Newark plus five Union County towns and part of Union Township and the lower parts of Hudson County's Bayonne and Jersey City):

Voters are to choose among incumbent Donald Payne, Jr. (D-Newark) and four challengers.

Agha Khan, of Jersey City, is the Republicans' candidate. Scott Droma, of East Orange, is under the Libertarian Party banner.

Cynthia Johnson, of Glen Ridge, is running as "C4C 2018." Joan Miller, of Newark, is under her own "Never Give Up" flag.

11th CD (Nutley, upper parts of Bloomfield, Montclair and West Orange:

Nine "West Essex" towns, and 41 Morris, Passaic and Sussex county towns) Voters are to pick Rodney Frelinghuysen's successor from among four candidates on their ballot.

Mikie Sherrill (D-Upper Montclair) and Antony E. Ghee (R-Totowa) earned their respective parties' nominations through June 5's primaries.

Ryan Martinez, of Butler, is running as a Libertarian. Robert F. Crook, of Essex Fells, is campaigning under "Honesty, Integrity, Compassion."

Frelinghuysen (R- Harding Twp.) is retiring after serving 12 two-year terms.


(East Orange, Orange, Montclair and Passaic County's Clifton.) 

Voters here are to choose among two candidates.

Incumbent Britnee Timberlake (D-East Orange) is seeking her first full elected term on the General Assembly. She was nominated by county Democrats to succeed Assemblywoman-turned-Lt. Governor Sheila Y. Oliver (D-East Orange) in January.

Challenging is Clenard Howard Childress, Jr., of Montclair, on his own "Stop the Insanity" slogan.


County Executive: Voters are to choose among three candidates to succeed Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr.

Incumbent DiVincenzo (D-Roseland) is running for a fifth term. County Republicans have fielded North Caldwell Councilman John Chiaia as their challenger. John Jay Arena, of Newark, is running as a Jobs and Equal Rights for ALL candidate.

County Sheriff: Voters are to choose between Armando B. Fontoura and Pasquale Capozzoli.

Incumbent Fontoura (D-Fairfield) is seeking his 10th term since 1990. Challenging is Republican Caldwell Councilman Capozzoli.

Freeholder Third District (East Orange, Orange, South Orange, Newark's West and Central Wards): District voters are to choose a successor for Janine Bauer (D-South Orange), who was appointed in January to fill in the first year of former freeholder Timberlake's term.

East Orange Ward Councilwoman Tyshammie L. Cooper is the only person to appear on the Nov. 6 ballot. County Republicans did not nominate a candidate.


Bloomfield voters are to ratify At-Large Councilman Richard Rockwell's continuing to fill Carlos Pomares' remaining term. Township Democrats appointed Rockwell in January after Nov. 7 voters promoted Pomares to District Five Freeholder.

Glen Ridge voters are to ratify incumbent Borough Council Members Paul A. Lisovicz and Ann Marie Morrow to their second three-year terms. Morrow and Lisovicz are running with Civic Conference Committee endorsement.

Maplewood voters have three candidates to fill two Township Committee seats from. Nancy J. Adams and Greg Lembrich are the incumbent Democrats. Ileana Alexandra Castillo is running on her own "The Independent Choice" platform.