November 5, 2014

Booker, Watson Coleman, Democrats Prevail

Democrat Bonnie Watson Coleman became the first person of African American descent to represent New Jersey in Congress as the Representative for the 12th District.

After Rush Holt announced in February that he would not seek re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives, the main candidates were Ms. Watson Coleman and Republican Alieta Eck.

While the final numbers for the Senate race were not in at press time, results for 110 out of 170 districts showed Ms. Watson Coleman with 72 percent of the votes and Ms. Eck with 25 percent. The numbers in Princeton were 4611 for Ms. Watson Coleman and 1391 for Ms. Eck.

Incumbent Democrats Bernard “Bernie” P. Miller and Jo Butler were the only candidates for two three-year term seats on Princeton Council. Mr. Miller received 4754 votes and Ms. Butler received 4726.

Four candidates vied for three 3-year term seats on the Princeton Public Schools Board of Education. At press time, incumbent Afsheen Shamsi looked likely to be re-elected after serving one 3-year term. She had 2248 votes. The other winning candidates are Justin Doran with 2324 votes and Fern M. Spruill with 2685. The fourth candidate, Ms. Connie Witter received the least number with 2219 votes.

The race for the U.S. Senate seat was won by the Democratic candidate Cory Booker who beat Republican candidate Jeff Bell. At press time with 153 out of 243 districts reporting, 61 percent of the electorate had voted for Booker and 37 percent for Bell.

This year’s ballot had three public questions to be voted on, two constitutional amendments and one County Question.

On public question number one, a constitutional amendment that would allow courts to order pretrial detention of a person in a criminal case, thereby changing the current constitutional right to bail such that an accused person could be held in jail even before his/her trial and, in some situations, even without a chance to post bail, 64 percent of voters voted yes and 36 percent voted no (for 204 out of 243 districts reporting).

On question number two, which would dedicate state funds for open space, farmland, and historical preservation, 68 percent voted in favor while 32 percent voted against (for 204 out of 243 districts reporting).

The County Question, proposing a 5 cent fee for single use plastic shopping bags in an effort to induce shoppers to use recyclable bags, received 39 percent of votes in favor and 61 percent of votes against.