Princeton Borough and Township government will likely remain all Democratic following the coming November elections, as no opposing parties have yet put forth a challenging bid.
The fact that no Republicans are running in 2006 is somewhat of a surprise, at least in the Township, after a 2005 campaign that focused heavily on property tax reform and had seemingly created a united Republican party, one that has not been represented in either the Borough or the Township since 1994.
Considering the overwhelming voter affiliation Democrats outnumber Republicans by nearly two to one the lack of candidates for a party that has had difficulty reestablishing itself is not all that unlikely. However, in this years election, instead of pitting two parties against each other, Township Democrats will face off in a primary that could be hotly contested.
Chad Goerner, of Bayard Lane, will face off against Scott Carver, of Dempsey Avenue, for the seat of Township Committeeman Bill Hearon, who will not run for reelection. But unlike previous primary run-offs, this year's primary race indicates a difference in philosophy in a party that has been united for over a decade. Mr. Carver, who spurned a "new generation" of Township Democrats after failing to receive a party endorsement, could appear in a separate voting column. While the Township's Democratic party committee endorsed Mr. Goerner, however, the Princeton Community Democratic Organization (PCDO), the regional body that normally endorses candidates, could not commit to either Mr. Carver or Mr. Goerner. As a result, both men could run in the same column come June 6, the day of the primary vote. Ballot positioning is up to the party county chair.
At the time of Mr. Goerner's municipal party endorsement, Mr. Carver, a past president of the PCDO, cited "deep differences of philosophy" with the direction of the Democratic party leadership, both on the municipal level and in the PCDO. Mr. Carver indicated that "personal agendas" were being pushed among the leadership.
At the time, Mr. Goerner said his endorsement represented the will of the Democratic party and thus had expected to be named to fill a vacancy following Mr. Hearon's expected March 28 resignation. Mr. Hearon did not resign at that time, saying he should have waited until the party fleshed out all possible candidates.
In the Borough, Incumbent Council members Wendy Benchley, of Boudinot Street, and Peggy Karcher, of Sergeant Street, filed petitions for their candidacies for three-year terms. Mayor Mildred Trotman, of MacLean Street, who was appointed to the mayor's spot in November following the death of Mayor Joseph O'Neill, filed a petition to appear on the ballot seeking a special one-year term that would fill out the remainder of Mr. O'Neill's term, set to expire January 1, 2008.
Barbara Trelstad, of Westcott Road, was appointed in January to fill out a year of Ms. Trotman's Council seat, which she vacated when she became mayor. Ms. Trelstad filed a petition to run for a special two-year term to carry out Ms. Trotman's unexpired term, set to expire January 1, 2009.
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