West Caldwell Retains Republican Stronghold
GOP council candidates win every district in township.
Story updated at 8:10 a.m. Wednesday.
West Caldwell said "no" to change, re-electing Republican incumbents Stanley Hladik and Thomas O'Hern to the township council, according to early results posted by the Essex County Clerk's Office.
Unofficial results show that Hladik and O'Hern, who both sought second three-year terms, won handily receiving 2,738 and 2,820 votes respectively.
Democratic challengers, Marc Driggs and Frank Mondsini, both first time candidates, received 1,922 and 1,841 votes respectively, according to early results.
The Republicans won every district in the township.
"What people in town are saying is that they approve of what we're doing," Hladik said from Franco's Pizzeria in West Caldwell Tuesday night.
They said their major accomplishments from their first term include redevelopment of the Oval and putting together a 2012 budget with a 0% municipal tax increase.
Both vowed to stay focused on shared services and maintaining infrastructure in a second term.
Hladik and his running mate O'Hern were surrounded by dozens of friends, family members and supporters at the local restaurant.
"We worked so hard," O'Hern said. "I think our accomplishments, our vision for the future and our positive campaign all paid off."
O'Hern, a lifelong resident of the township and a volunteer fireman added, "I'm humbled and I'm proud to continue to serve the residents of West Caldwell."
During their campaign, the Democratic candidates questioned the current government body's spending on infrastructure and suggested spending on non-infrastructure projects be decided by taxpayers in a referendum.
"I congratulate Mr. Hladik and Mr. O'Hern on their victory," Driggs said Tuesday night. "This was my first campaign, but I will continue to pursue the issues that concern all the taxpayers."
"I wish to thank all our supporters and let's continue to make our voices heard," Driggs said. "I knew it would be an uphill battle running as a Democrat in West Caldwell, but I think it's healthy for there to be a form of debate."
Mondsini, a business man and conservative, ran as a Democrat in the local race.
"Running for council has been an amazing experience. I made so many new friends and found a best friend in my running mate Marc Driggs," Mondsini said. "I am also grateful for the West Caldwell Democrats for allowing a conservative Republican to run on their line and to the many people that supported our effort. I look forward to remaining active in our community."
|D-Frank Mondsini III||1841||19.74|