No Surprises in Mendham, Chester Municipal Races

All races have essentially been over since the summer's Republican primary.

In a week of unpleasant surprises following Hurricane Sandy, there were no upsets in the races for town council and township committee in Mendham and Chester.

And while the storm may have taken away electricity and water and heat from residents, it certainly didn't dissuade people from coming out to the polls.  

In Chester Borough, 730 of the 1,092 registered voters showed up at the ballot box, excluding absentee and provisional votes. Republican incumbent Mathew Finney and newcomer Elizabeth Gugliemini completed their run for Borough Council. Finney tallied 458 votes for a 48 percent total while Gugliemini picked up 470 votes for 49 percent of the vote. 

In the presidential race, 480 votes went to to the Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan ticket for 66 percent of the vote while 241 ballots were cast for Obama/Biden, for a 33 percent share.

In Mendham Borough Council President John Andrus and Councilman Stanley Witczak III ran unopposed for two, three-year terms on the Borough Council.

Andrus had 1,438 people vote for him, picking up 49 percent of the vote while Witczak had 1,466 for 50 percent of the total.

In the borough, 2,228 people voted with 1,454 casting Romney/Ryan votes for 65 percent of the total while 756 made their choice for Obama/Biden who had 33 percent of the vote.

In Chester Township, Council President Karen Powell and Jacqueline Spinelli finished their unopposed bid for town council. 3,243 people came out to vote in Chester Township and Spinelli garnered 2,254 votes and 50 percent of the total while Powell picked up 2,166 votes equaling a 48 percent share.

Councilman Brian Murphy chose not to seek reelection.

Out of the 3,243 who voted in Chester Township, 2,205 voted for Romeny/Ryan for 68 percent of the vote and 1,008 threw their lot in with Obama/Biden for 31 percent of the vote.

In Mendham Township Rick Merkt and Christopher Baumann finished their campaign for township commmittee, running unopposed after fending off Phyllis Florek in the primary. Merkt is an incumbent, running for retention of his seat while Baumann is a newcomer to the council. Merkt scored 1,895 votes for 50 percent of the total while Baumann notched 1,869 votes for a 49 percent share.

Of the 4,691 registered voters, 2,813 showed up to the polls. Of those voters, 1,837 cast votes for Romney/Ryan who had 65 percent of the vote tally while 944 punched the Obama/Biden ticket for 33 percent of the total.

Frank Cioppettini, who chose not to seek reelection to the township committee congratulated Merkt and Baumann on on the victory, as did current Mendham Township Mayor Sam Tolley. 

"I look forward to working with both of them," Tolley said.


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