Incumbents Lead in BOE Race, As Vote Counting Continues
By Donald Gilpin
With ballots from three of 22 Princeton precincts not yet counted, results still hang in the balance in Princeton’s School Board election, though the three incumbents — Susan Kanter, Dafna Kendal, and Debbie Bronfeld — are leading over challengers Margarita “Rita” Rafalovsky and Lishian “Lisa” Wu.
As of late Friday morning, November 11, three days after Tuesday’s election, unofficial vote totals were 3,272 for Kanter, 3,050 for Kendal, 2,905 for Bronfeld, 2,390 for Rafalovsky, and 1,525 for Wu. There are three seats available on the Princeton Public Schools Board of Education.
Election Day issues with voting machines and scanners throughout Mercer County forced voters to use paper ballots that were later scanned and tallied by the bipartisan Mercer County Board of Elections in Trenton.
In a November 11 email, Mercer County Clerk Paula Sollami Covello reported that “an investigation is being conducted by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office. Election officials have no suspicion of any purposeful wrongdoing, but we need to have the matter reviewed to determine if there was an error or malicious intent.”
Covello noted that all the Princeton ballots, including those still to be counted from precincts 9, 11, and 21 (the Community Park School polling location), were delivered to the Board of Elections office on election night. Mail-in ballots from all precincts are still coming in, and provisional ballots will be counted after mail-ins. The results will be finalized, certified by the county clerk, and made official by November 21, Covello said.
In the contest for Princeton Council, incumbent Democrats Mia Sacks and Michelle Pirone Lambros were running unopposed for re-election. Sacks has so far tallied 4,763 votes, Pirone Lambros 4,689.
In the race for two seats on the Mercer County Board of Commissioners, Democrats Cathleen Lewis with 45,971 votes and incumbent Nina D. Melker with 46,621 votes appear to have comfortable leads over Republican challengers Michael Chianese (26,358 votes) and Andrew Kotula Jr. (25,545 votes).
Incumbent Democrat Bonnie Watson Coleman seems to be coasting to victory over challengers Darius Mayfield, a Republican, and Lynn Genrich, an Independent, in the election for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives for New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District. Coleman has so far gained 93,773 votes to 60,504 for Mayfield and 1,484 for Genrich.