Democrats Maureen McNish and Grace Kerrigan have declared their candidacy in the November Caldwell Council elections, the Caldwell Democratic Committee announced Tuesday.
McNish, a former Caldwell-West Caldwell Board of Education member, and Kerrigan, a retired employee of the school district, were endorsed by the Caldwell Democratic Committee Monday night.
The Democrats will vie for two open seats on the council currently held by Republicans Tom O’Donnell and John Coyle. The Republicans have not formally announced their candidates, although O'Donnell has stated he intends to seek re-election.
McNish, a resident of Ravine Avenue, served three terms on the Caldwell-West Caldwell Board of Education, where she was appointed president for one year. She was unseated in the November 2012 election.
“I am excited to be running with someone who understands public service and the responsibility that comes with it,” McNish said in a release. “Grace embodies the fabric of the Caldwell community through her years of service to Lincoln School and to the Borough of Caldwell as a member of the Open Space Committee.”
Kerrigan resides on Forest Avenue and has lived in Caldwell for 30 years. She retired from the district in 2011 after serving as secretary to the Lincoln School principal for 20 years.
“Now that my children are all grown and my family has benefited from the Caldwell community, it is time to give back,” Kerrigan said in a release. “I could not be more thrilled to run for office with Maureen McNish. Her tenure on the school board is a true example of public service.”
If elected, McNish and Kerrigan would be the first women to serve on the council in three years, since Ann Dassing, who is the borough’s current mayor, served alongside Kay Slattery.
Former Mayor Susan Gartland, the Caldwell Democratic Town Chair, endorsed the candidates saying, “Grace and Maureen will bring a thoughtful and level-headed approach to the council.”
The candidates were also endorsed by Caldwell Councilmen John Kelley and Frank Rodgers.
“I think the residents of Caldwell are going to embrace Maureen and Grace, and view them as refreshing additions to the council,” Kelley said.
Rodgers said, “Maureen and Grace will represent the people well on the council.”
Former School Board President and Caldwell resident Jay McCann will serve as the campaign chair. McCann served with McNish on the school board.
“These are two great candidates for council and it is with pleasure I serve as their campaign chair,” McCann stated.
The candidates are preparing for the upcoming campaign by meeting with residents to get their input, according to the Caldwell Democratic Committee.