Democrats Retain Control Of Township Council, BOE Incumbents Defeated

Candidates in the 2017 election and their supporters watch the results being tallied in the Township Council chamber.

Democrats retained complete control of the Township Council and both Board of Education incumbents were defeated in the Nov. 7 elections.

In regional races involving township residents, state Assemblymen Joe Danielsen (D-17) retained his seat. Unsuccessful were Township Councilwoman Shanel Robinson (D-At Large), who ran for a seat on the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders, and Republicans Daryl Kipnis, who ran for state Senate, and Robert Quinn and Nadine Wilkins, who ran for state Assembly.

Republican Brian Levine, a former township mayor, successfully defended his seat on the County Freeholders.

Current school board president Ed Potosnak and board member Patricia Stanley lost their bids for re-election.

In the Township Council race, Ward 1 incumbent Democrat Ted Chase defeated Republican challenger Laxman Kanduri, 2,230 to 738; Ward 2 newcomer Democrat Will Galtieri won the seat being vacated by Councilwoman Roz Sherman by a 2,951 to 1,823 tally over Republican Scott Siegel; Ward 3 incumbent Democrat Charles Onyejiaka defeated Republican challenger Beverly Briggs-Lawson1,886 to 927; Ward 4 incumbent Democrat Carl R.A. Wright defeated Republican challenger Estelle Mitzen 2,381 to 510 and Ward 5 incumbent Democrat James Vassanella defeated Republican challenger Nabil Choueiri, 2,013 to 586.

Township voters sent three newcomers to the Board of Education: Mike Smith with 6,413 votes, Nishita Desai with 5,090 votes,  and Michelle Shelton with 4,319 votes.

Current board president Ed Potosnak won 3,646 votes, incumbent Pat Stanley garnered 3,255 votes and Andre Fryson won 1,911 votes.

All vote tallies are unofficial.

“I just want to thank the voters of Franklin for voting for me, it’s great,” Smith said.

Desai, who ran on a slate with Smith and Potosnak, said she is “ready to do the hard work that needs to be done to make Franklin public schools better, and we’re already on the way.”

“I want to thank everybody who supported me through this,” she said. “This i a pretty big moment for me, and it’s definitely a big moment for he students of the public school system.”

In the gubernatorial race, township voters overwhelmingly supported Democrat Phil Murphy – the eventual winner – over Republican Kim Guadagno, 11,493 to 5,005.

Comments from most of the winning council candidates can be heard on the Franklin reporter & Advocate’s live-stream video taken from the Township Council chamber, where votes were tallied:

Election night at the municipal building.

Posted by The Franklin Reporter & Advocate on Tuesday, November 7, 2017


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