Democrats swept Mercer County in every partisan district in Tuesday’s election. In Hopewell Township, the only contested municipal district in the Valley, Democrats pulled out a decisive victory as incumbent Mayor Kristin McLaughlin and her running mate Courtney Peters-Manning emerged victorious over incumbent John Hart and his running mate Ed Jackowski.
Mercer County reports that, in unofficial results of 9,274 in-person and vote by mail Township votes, Mayor McLaughlin won with 27.03% of the vote followed closely by Peters-Manning with 26.63%. Hart, who has been a fixture in Township politics for decades, garnered 23.81% and Jacksowski, in his second unsuccessful run for a Township seat, received 22.5%. Two votes, or .02%, went to “personal choice.” The five-member Township Committee will now seat five Democrats for the first time in many years.
The Township saw 4,761 votes out of 14,872 votes or 32%, an unusually high percentage for a non-presidential or non-gubernatorial election year. That number will increase when the provisional and remaining votes by mail are counted. Overall, Mercer County had a 26.9% turnout.
Pennington Borough had three uncontested seats: incumbent Democrats Mayor Joe Lawver and members of Common Council Beverly Mills and Charles “Chico” Marciante will keep their positions. 22.5 percent of Pennington registered voters participated. Hopewell Borough also will see no changes as incumbent Democrats Mayor Paul Anzano and members of Common Council Chris Fossel and David Mackie also were elected in uncontested races. 22.8% of Hopewell Borough registered voters participated.
Among non-partisan Hopewell Valley contests, the race for the solitary Board of Education seat in Hopewell Borough remains too close to call. At the end of regular voting, the County reports Jessica Grillo had 218 votes to Elizabeth Maziarz’s 212 votes. Some votes by mail and the provisional ballots remain to be counted.
However, Hopewell Township’s Board of Education race for two open seats saw a solid victory for the team of William Herbert and John Mason (27.49% and 24.86% respectively) over Michael Coco with 18.32%, incumbent Peter DiDonato with 16.16% and Ashutosh Pathak with 13.04%.
Pennington Borough did not have a Board of Education seat open.
In the race for two seats on the Hopewell Township Fire District, an election that surprised many Valley voters as it made its first appearance on a November ballot, the result was Augustine Tackacs 29% and Michael Cseremsak 28.05% over Timothy Lynch 26.3% and Cosmo Tomaro 16.27%.
In other Mercer County partisan elections, Democrats won every contested seat.
In the 15th legislative district (covering the Hopewell Valley, Lambertville, the Amwells, Trenton, Lawrence, Ewing, and West Windsor) race for two seats, incumbent Democrats Assemblywoman Verlina Reynolds-Jackson won 39.76% and Hopewell Township native Anthony Verrelli won 38.53% of the votes over Republican Jennifer Williams, 14.83% and unaffiliated Edward “NJ Weedman” Forchio, 4.12% and Dioh Williams, 2.59%
Other State legislative districts that represent Mercer County saw victories for incumbent Democrats Wayne DeAngelo, 32.04% and Dan Benson, 30.98% in the 14th District (covering eastern Mercer County and parts of Middlesex) and incumbent Democrats Andrew Zwicker, 42.72% and Roy Freiman, 40.76% in the 16 District (covering Princeton as well as parts of Hunterdon and Middlesex counties).
The incumbent County Executive, Democrat Brian Hughes, who has been in office since 2004, won his seat again with 69.37% of the vote over challenger Lishian Wu.
Hamilton’s race for Mayor was highly contested. Both candidates ran numerous television advertisements and have been working on the election furiously for months. Democrat Jeff Martin beat Republican Kelly Yaede 55.8% to 44.08%. Democrats also swept the two uncontested Freeholder seats, and municipal races in East Windsor, Hightstown, Lawrence, and Princeton.
The public question, which asked whether a Constitutional amendment should be approved giving veterans who live in retirement communities the right to receive a $250 property deduction that veterans who live in private residences already get, passed easily with 75.52% of voters voting yes.