Plus: a new commissioner is set to take office in Haddonfield and voters approve a pair of ballot questions.
By Matt Skoufalos | November 5, 2019
In the 2019 general election, Camden County voters returned Democratic candidates to office at the local, county, and state levels.
Statewide, New Jersey voters also approved a ballot question that would allow veterans who move into long-term retirement communities to claim the same $250 annual tax deduction as those who live in private residences.
And in Collingswood, they also approved a $225,000 ballot question that will provide mental health services for elementary school students in the district.
New Jersey General Assembly Race
Camden County Clerk Race
Incumbent Democratic Joseph Ripa defeated Republican Roy Gustafson of Collingswood for Camden County Clerk.
Camden County Freeholder Race
In the Camden County Freeholder Board race, Democrat Melinda Kane outpaced Republican Keith Cybulski of Clementon for the unexpired term on the board, while incumbent Democrats Edward McDonnell and Carmen Rodriguez retained their seats against Republican challengers Claire Gustafson of Collingswood and Nicole Nance of Camden City.
Democrats also took three seats on the township Council: Michele Golkow, Jennifer Apell, and Brian Bauerle edged out Republicans Stephen Cohen, Steven Lever, and Mary Ellen Litton as well as Libertarian Richard G. Bowen, Jr.
In Haddonfield, the unexpired term of Commissioner of Public Works, Park and Public Property went to Colleen Bianco Bezich, who unseated appointee Robert “Bob” Marshall and outperformed Gregory Peltz, and Kathryn Raiczyk.
The Haddon Heights mayoral race between Democrat Zach Houck and Republican Michael Valvardi was too close to call, with Houck carrying a slight advantage at press time. At the council level, incumbent Democrat Asiyah Kurtz and Democratic challenger Tom Ottoson appear to have surpassed Republicans Matt McDermott and Jennifer Moore for two open seats on the local government.
In Pennsauken, Democrat Almar Dyer soundly defeated Republican Nhuan Van for an open seat on the township committee.
Uncontested local races
Democratic candidates Gloria Jones and Thomas Goebel prevailedl in the Audubon Park council general election.
With no Republican opponents, incumbent Democratic councilman Anthony Perno and challenger Raymond Woods, III won in Merchantville.
Likewise, Oaklyn council member and Democratic candidate Greg Brandley faced no balloted Republican opposition in the local mayoral race.
After having been appointed to fill the unexpired term of Jack Killion, the former Pennsauken mayor who resigned his post in July, Democratic nominee Tim Killion faced no balloted opponents for that seat.
School Board Elections
In Cherry Hill, Ruth Schultz won an unexpired term on the local board of education, while challengers Kimberly Friddell, Rosy Arroyo, and Ben Ovadia all took three-year seats on the body.
In Haddon Heights, challenger Stacey Augustine led all vote-getters, while incumbents Lisa Long and Jane Shissler retained their seats on the board.
In Audubon, incumbent Ammie Davis, led all vote-getters, with Tara Sullivan-Butrica and Joseph Ryan gaining the other two seats on the school board.
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