HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP: Incumbent Dems overtake Republicans in committee race

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Lea Kahn, Staff Writer
In the only contested race in the Hopewell Valley, the two Democratic Party candidates for Hopewell Township Committee defeated their Republican Party challengers.
Incumbent Township Committeeman Kevin Kuchinski, who is serving as mayor for 2017, and his running mate, Michael Ruger, turned back a last-minute challenge by Republican Party nominees Philip Volpe and Luis Nicolao in the Nov. 7 general election. Republican nominee Laura Gainsborg withdrew after the June 7 primary.
Kuchinski received 3,326 votes and Ruger, who replaced Township Committeewoman Vanessa Sandom on the ballot, earned 3,216 votes. Volpe and Nicolao garnered 2,384 votes and 2,194 votes, respectively.
Kuchinski and Ruger thanked Hopewell Township voters for giving them a chance to serve on Township Committee for the next three years.
“We are committed to keeping taxes low and to protecting Hopewell Valley’s rural character,” Kuchinski said. “We look forward to serving all of the residents of our community in the coming years.”
Ruger agreed and added that he was “truly honored” that so many voters gave him the opportunity to serve on the township committee. He said he was “looking forward to working with everyone to make the township an even better place for us all to live.”
Elsewhere in the Hopewell Valley, two incumbent Hopewell Borough Council members were returned to the governing body and one newcomer will be joining them when the council reorganizes. None of the candidates faced opposition.
Borough Councilman Charles Schuyler “Skye” Moorehouse, a Republican, earned 332 votes. Democratic Party nominee Ryan Kennedy, who replaced Councilman Robert Lewis on the ballot, received 571 votes. The term is for three years.
Incumbent Borough Councilwoman Shelby Tewell, a Republican, earned 327 votes. She will fill out an unexpired one-year term.
In Pennington Borough, incumbent Borough Council members Catherine “Kit” Chandler and Glen Griffiths, both Democrats, were re-elected to three-year terms.
Chandler and Griffiths, who were running unopposed, received 696 votes and 695 votes, respectively.
While only one of the three municipal races was contested, there were four candidate for three seats on the Hopewell Valley Regional School District’s Board of Education. The term is for three years.
When the last ballot was counted, one incumbent school board member was re-elected to another term, but a second incumbent school board member lost her bid for re-election.
Incumbent school board member Adam J. Sawicki was re-elected with 2,670 votes, but incumbent school board member Alyce Murray came in fourth with 2,355 votes.
Newcomers Darius Matthews earned 2,386 votes and Sarah Tracy got 2,686 votes. They will be joining the school board when it reorganizes in January.