Bernadette Russell and Mindie Weiner to replace Bryan Norcross and Edward Kearney on borough council
School board positions were all unopposed
In the Nov. 8 election, Democratic challengers Bernadette Russell and Mindie Weiner defeated borough council incumbent Republicans Bryan Norcross and Edward Kearney.
Russell received the most votes at 1,661, totaling 27.47 percent. Weiner received 1,648 votes, 27.26 percent, Norcross received 1,444 votes, 23.88 percent, and Kearney received 1,289 votes, 21.32 percent. Four voters chose to write in a candidate.
Despite being disappointed by his loss, Norcross is holding onto the hope that the new council members will continue the work that he and the rest of council has started.
“The two people that are going to replace us are good people,” Norcross said. “I hope things continue to move forward.”
Norcross added that he is hoping that the council will work across party lines for the good of Palmyra instead of putting focus on Republican or Democrat initiatives. He says that progress is an uphill battle and he was hoping to win to keep serving the residents.
Norcross hopes that Palmyra continues to see progress in the form of revitalizing the downtown area and establishing an outdoor seating ordinance, among other things.
“The more we do downtown, the more people that will come into town,” Norcross said.
Russell and Weiner campaigned together and were ultimately able to beat the incumbents, Norcross and Kearney.
“It was very humbling. I wasn’t even sure how the results were going to go,” Russell said. “I know both of the gentlemen were working in the community.”
Russell is unsure how losing two Republicans and gaining two Democrats will affect the borough council, as it is still run by a Republican mayor. Russell also added she does not consider herself a political activist and tends to fall in between the two major parties when it comes to policies.
Russell is looking forward to tackling some of the issues in the community, such as perception of the school district, fostering a relationship with the business community and improving Main Street. She specified that many people would prefer to go to a private school rather than Palmyra High School, but she believes there are a lot of positives to the public schools that are overlooked. She added she thinks the teachers at the high school are awesome and has had three kids graduate from there.
“I think we have to work together if we want to tackle any of the problems that are in our town and actually solve them, not just bicker back and forth,” Russell said.
Weiner was also very excited and humbled to be elected.
“I’m all about the kids. I’m all about community. I really, really would love to see Palmyra Broad Street be something cool to talk about,” Weiner said on her goals.
Weiner added that she would love to see a farmers’ market make its way into Palmyra, as she’s a huge fan of all things natural.
Weiner says that her and Russell have a lot in common and really tried to stay away from the negative side of politics while campaigning.
“We made flyers, we put some fun, creative stuff on social media, we both know a lot of people on a lot of different levels in this town and we had a lot of support that way,” Weiner said.
Edward Kearney could not be reached for comment.
In the board of education election, John Quigg, Andrew Russell and Laurie Beck ran unopposed. Sean Toner ran unopposed for a one-year seat.
Quigg received 1,819 votes, 34.58 percent, Beck received 1,738 votes, 33.04 percent, and Russell received 1,685 votes, 23.03 percent. Toner received 1,883 voters for the one-year position. Twenty-three voters chose to write in a candidate.
In the New Jersey First Congressional District of the House of Representatives, incumbent Democrat Donald Norcross easily won re-election. Norcross defeated Republican candidate Bob Patterson, earning 62.98 percent of the vote. Patterson earned 33.87 percent.
Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders Republican incumbent Latham “Robert” Tiver received the most votes over Democrat Reva Foster, with 51.48 percent of the votes. The county sheriff will remain the same with Republican incumbent Jean Stanfield receiving 52.13 percent of the vote over Democratic challenger James H. Kostoplis.
For county surrogate, Freeholder and Republican Mary Ann O’Brien received 51.64 percent of the vote with Democrat Sander Friedman receiving 48.34 percent of the vote.
The first statewide referendum question that asked if voters approved of amending the state constitution to permit casino gambling in North Jersey did not pass, with 78 percent of voters opposed.
The second referendum question that asked if voters approved of amending the state constitution to dedicate all revenue from the state motor fuels tax and petroleum products gross receipts tax to the Transportation Trust Fund passed by a slight margin, with 54 percent of voters approving.
The unofficial results do not include mail-in or provisional ballots.