Voters make it official: Leticia Fraga, David Cohen for Princeton Council


Leticia Fraga

By Philip Sean Curran, Staff Writer
Democrats David Cohen and Leticia Fraga were elected Tuesday to the Princeton Council in an uncontested race for two seats, with Fraga becoming the first Latina ever elected to Princeton municipal government.
Cohen finished with 5,604 votes with Fraga at 5,570.
In winning public office for the first time, they will replace longtime Councilman and former Township Mayor Bernard P. Miller and Councilwoman Jo S. Butler, both of whom declined to run for re-election.
The result keeps all six council seats in the hands of Democrats.
Cohen, an architect, said Tuesday that he intends to “jump in with both feet” once he takes office in 2018.
“I really hope to take an activist’s role and not feel like I have to sit back and just watch and learn,” he said, “based on the amount of thought that I’ve given to the issues and the number of meetings I’ve been to … .”
Fraga, a community activist who sits on the town’s civil rights commission, said Tuesday that her purpose in running was not to become first Latina elected in Princeton.
“Actually, I cannot even find the words to express what an honor it is for me to serve and to be the first, because it’s something that I had never even dared to imagine,” said Fraga, a native of Mexico who lost her first bid for council last year. “But now that it’s become a reality, I’m very excited about it.”
Tuesday’s outcome had been a forgone conclusion for the better part of the year, ever since no other Democrats challenged Fraga and Cohen in the party primary. No Republicans ran in the general election, although that likely would not have mattered given how Democrats routinely win municipal elections in a landslide because of their large edge in registered voters.
Fraga and Cohen will join a municipal government that is waiting for a ruling from a Mercer County judge on what the town’s affordable housing requirement will be. Cohen calls affordable housing the biggest issue looming.
“And it’s going to take a lot of buckling down and focusing on the details of that to come up with a successful plan,” said Cohen, who sits on the municipal planning board. “There’s going to be rezoning of areas to accommodate the amount of housing that we’re going to be required to put in. That’s going to require a lot of work and I think my skill set is going to be useful for that.”
“I know that there are goals that are already being set on what Council plans to work on for next year,” she said. “And so that’s what I plan to have a hand in.”