Democrats earn three seats on council

According to the unofficial results from the Gloucester County Board of Elections, the Democrats won the three open council seats

Washington Township residents elected three Democrats to town council, giving that party the majority.

Incumbent Council Vice President Sean Longfellow, Andrea Dougherty and Andra Pasquarella Williams were elected to four-year terms on the council.

Longfellow led the pack with 9,626 votes. Dougherty was second with 9,502, and Pasquarella Williams came in third with 9,395. They received 16.67, 16.46 and 16.27 percent of the vote, respectively. The votes and percentages are according to unofficial results released by the Gloucester County Board of Elections.

“My campaign mates and I are very excited to be done with the election and moving forward,” Longfellow said. “With the win, we want to thank the residents of Washington Township for coming out and voting. It was a very high voter turnout, something we haven’t seen at a midterm election in a long, long time. Thank you to everyone who supported our ticket and put us up on council for the next four years.”

The Republican candidates, Vin Spinelli, Susan Pacewic and Rich Super, finished fourth, fifth and sixth receiving 8,963, 8,814, and 8,540, respectively. Spinelli, Pacewic and Super received 15.52, 15.27 and 14.70 percent of the vote, respectively.

At press time, the Republican candidates were waiting until the mail-in ballots and provisional ballots are counted before making a statement. Please visit www.washingtontownshipsun.com for the updated story.

Washington Township had two Independent candidates running for council as well — Giancarlo D’Orazio and Domenick A. Ruggiero Jr., who received 1,632 and 1,251 votes; good for 2.83 and 2.17 percent of the vote, respectively.

Both D’Orazio and Ruggiero wish success for those elected.

“I wish the ones who won good luck and good fortune,” Ruggiero said. “I have no hard feelings about the election, it’s the American system.”

Ruggiero added voters should take the individual into consideration instead of looking solely at which party they represent.

“When you’re a candidate, you’re applying for a job. I look at a candidate and see what they have to offer. Party should be the last thing involved in any election,” Ruggiero said.

D’Orazio spoke about the election in general, stating “I’ve never seen a ballot with so many Independent candidates on it.”

“This was an election like no other, this is one of the biggest turnouts for a midterm election. I’m humbled that more than 1,600 people came out to vote for me and share the same values I do,” he said. “We’ll try again in 2020. I wish success for those who were elected,” D’Orazio said.

Some 57,739 people showed up to vote in the council election, according to the Gloucester County Board of Elections website.

In other elections:

Washington Township Council wasn’t the only race on the ballot last week.

Three, three-year terms were up for grabs for the Washington Township Board of Education. Two incumbents and one newcomer won. Karen Garrison and Candice Zachowski are the incumbents, and Paul Esposito is the newcomer.

Garrison led the way with 8,560 votes, Zachowski finished second with 8,015 votes, and Esposito earned the final seat with 6,534 votes.

Incumbent Bob Abbott was not re-elected to the board of education, finishing in fourth place with 6,467 votes. Renee Pollard finished fifth with 5,989 votes, and Cecilia “Ann” Volk finished sixth with 3,654 votes.

In the race for Gloucester County sheriff, incumbent Carmel Morina (D) won with 63,356 votes against Jonathan Sammons (R) with 46,186 votes.

In the race for Gloucester County surrogate, Joe Chila (D) won with 62,111 votes against George Shivery Jr. (R) with 46,592 votes.

In the race for two seats on the Gloucester County Board of Chosen Freeholders, incumbents Robert Damminger (D) and James Lavender (D) won with 62,839 and 60,273 votes, respectively, against Rose Yerka (R) and Diane King (R) with 46,791 and 47,748 votes, respectively.

In the race for the U.S. Representative for New Jersey’s 1st Congressional District, incumbent Donald Norcross (D) won with 41,314 votes against Paul Dilks (R) with 31,091 votes, Paul Hamlin (We Deserve Better) with 523 votes, Mohammed Kabir (Your Voice Heard) with 177 votes and Robert Shapiro (Libertarian Party) with 1,069 votes.

In the race for U.S. senator, incumbent Robert Menendez won with 1,509,835 votes statewide against Bob Hugin (R) who received 1,233,988 votes.