Story updated at noon on Thursday, Nov 22.
Democrat Edward Durkin and Republican incumbent Richard Hauser waited nearly two weeks to learn Monday they won the Caldwell Council race, which was too close to call when the machine votes were counted on election night.
Durkin received a total of 1,649 votes while Hauser received 1,628 votes, Essex County Clerk Chris Durkin said by phone Monday.
Their running mates, Republican incumbent Peter Murray and Democrat Susan Vezza received 1,616 and 1,575 votes, respectively, the clerk said.
The wait didn't make the win any less sweet for Durkin, 31, a lifelong Caldwell resident and first time candidate for council. Durkin, who has worked as a financial consultant and investment advisor, will complete his master's in business administration from Caldwell College in the spring.
"I’m very thrilled and excited to win a seat on the Caldwell town council," Durkin said Monday night. "I had to wait almost two weeks to make it official, the suspense was definitely getting to me, but I was confident that the results wouldn’t sway too much."
Hauser, 50, chief financial officer of RAHauser & Associates, will serve a second term on the town council.
Hauser said Wednesday he felt disappointed his running mate was not re-elected along with him.
"I certainly thank those that supported us and recognized everything that we achieved," Hauser said. "I’m certainly very surprised, that does not mean that I or we took anything for granted by any means."
Hauser said being on the council does not leave a lot of time for campaigning.
"The council work takes a lot of time," he said. "We just did not have the time to get out and walk like we did three years ago."
He added, "I look forward to learning about Ed Durkin and what it is he’s looking to accomplish."
The results are unchanged from election night when unofficial machine counts showed Durkin and Hauser in a narrow lead over Murray.
The results mean the council will be comprised of three Democrats and three Republicans in 2013.
"It’s not just Republicans versus Democrats, it’s neighbors working together for the greater good of Caldwell," Durkin said. He said he hoped to bring new blood to a council that has had its share of contentious moments.
“When I decided to run for council, I agreed to work hard, to listen and to deliver on my obligations to the town," he said.
Voting challenges created by Superstorm Sandy led New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno to extend mail-in voting deadlines to Monday, Nov. 19. Emailed and faxed votes were also allowed for residents displaced by the storm.
The county clerk said last week that “buckets” of mail-in votes postmarked Nov. 5 were still coming in from post offices that were flooded or left without power by the storm.
The results were expected to be certified by the clerk on Wednesday.
The Caldwell race was the only one remaining to be called in the county.
Caldwell Council Final Election ResultsCandidate Machine Provisional Mail-In Total R-Richard Hauser* 1503 11 114 1628 R-Peter Murray* 1483 13 120 1616 D-Edward Durkin 1500 22 127 1649 D-Susan Vezza 1446 16 113 1575