March 21, 2018

Williamson and Niedergang Score Highest on Ballot Placement Vote for Council

By Anne Levin

In Monday night’s ballot placement vote by the Princeton Democratic Municipal Committee (PDMC), Dwaine Williamson and Eve Niedergang were the highest ranked candidates for the two open seats on Princeton Council. This means that Scotia MacRae, chairman of the PDMC, will recommend to the chair of the Mercer County Democratic Organization that they be ranked in that order С first and second С on the June 5 primary election ballot.

Williamson and Niedergang also received the most votes from the Princeton Community Democratic Organization (PCDO) at its Local and County Endorsement Meeting on Sunday evening. Niedergang earned more than 60 percent of the vote (77.7), meaning she gets the PCDO’s endorsement. Williamson got over 40 percent (42.5), so he gets the support.

The PDMC and PCDO are two distinctly different organizations. The PDMC is the official arm of the Democratic party. Members are elected and serve two years. They also become members of the Mercer County Democratic Committee and get to vote at the county’s convention. The PCDO is a club that members pay to join. Any registered Democrat is eligible to become a member, and those registered in Princeton are eligible to become voting members.

Seven people were candidates for the Council seats to be vacated by Lance Liverman and Heather Howard. One of them, Myrtha Jasmine, withdrew from the race on Monday. At the PDMC, there were 37 ballots cast and one was disqualified. Each of the six candidates was rated on the point system, one being the highest and six the lowest.

Williamson got 175 points, and Niedergang earned 158. Behind them were Surinder Sharma with 140 points, Michelle Pirone Lambros with 115, Alvin McGowen with 101, and Adam Bierman with 64. According to MacRae, the ballots were counted four times by hand and the results compared to make sure the count was accurate. Results were then entered into a spreadsheet and point calculations were checked by hand for accuracy.

Some 250 people attended the PCDO meeting on Sunday, hearing from the candidates before voting. Also speaking were incumbent Mercer County Freeholders Ann Cannon, Pasquale Colavita, and Sam Frisby. For the Council endorsement, 202 members cast their ballots. The freeholders were unanimously endorsed by the PCDO.