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Kramer Leads Democratic Sweep Of Mayor, Council Races

2015 Election3

Mayor-elect Phil Kramer addresses his supporters at the Democratic victory party at Cafe Alfredo’s.


Township Councilman Phil Kramer handily won the mayor’s race, and his Democratic running mates swept the Township Council race in the Nov. 3 election.

With all districts reporting, Kramer, currently a councilman from Ward 3, garnered 5,045 votes and his challenger, current Mayor Chris Kelly, received 3,208 votes.

Kelly was appointed mayor by the council in January following the resignation of Brian Levine, who is now a Somerset County Freeholder.

Township At-Large Council members Rajiv Prasad, Kimberly Francois and Shanel Robinson also won their bids. Francois lead the council candidates with 5,034 votes, followed by Robinson with 4,974 and Prasad with 4,532.

On the Republican side, Scott Siegel received 3,281 votes, Catherine Barrier garnered 3,054 votes and Raleigh Steinhauer earned 3,008 votes.

With the win, the mayor and council seats will all be held by Democrats come January. The Democrats will have to pick a replacement for Kramer’s council seat after he is sworn in as mayor.

Kramer is also the first Democrat to be elected mayor since the position was directly chosen by voters.

In earning the victory, Kramer bested Kelly in all but a handful of the township’s 51 districts.

Kramer thanked his supporters at the Democratic victory party held at Cafe Alfredo’s.

“I thank the voters for having faith in me, what I’ve stood for and my hard work to keep spending as low as it could be and still prove services,” he said.

Francois, currently serving as deputy mayor, said that she is “always appreciative and grateful for the support that everyone has given me throughout the years.”

Francois said one of the goals she has for her upcoming term is to “build a youth center in Franklin Township.”

Prasad said that “hopefully, I will work to continue to be a better representative in the future. We have a lot of issues that we have to work on.”

Prasad said that one of his goals for this term would be to redevelop the Hamilton Street area similar to the way in which New Brunswick redeveloped the George Street area.

Robinson, who was selected to fill the unexpired term of Brian Regan – who ran unsuccessfully for county freeholder – said of her election, “It’s a wonderful feeling that I will be able to continue in the capacity of councilwoman in Franklin Township.”

In total, 8,412 of the township’s 39,878 registered voters, or just about 21 percent, cast their ballots on Nov. 3.

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