Cranbury write-in candidate says public safety was reason he entered race

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The local man who tried to defeat a sitting Township Committeeman in the Democratic primary this month told Cranbury officials on June 11 he ran to bring to the “forefront” traffic safety in town.

Andrew Huang spoke at the Township Committee meeting to set the record straight about why he was a write-in candidate who tried to unseat Jay Taylor, the incumbent who won the contest.

Huang is the father of a 13-year-old girl who was struck by a hit-and-run driver in May 2017 at the intersection of South Main Street and Evans Drive. She survived her injuries in an accident that killed the dog she had been walking.

A year after the accident, Huang’s daughter went before the governing body on May 14 to ask for the town to improve safety.

“We were promised by the township and the police that everything would be done to prevent another tragedy like this from happening again,” Huang said this week. “We believe it’s important to them, but we haven’t seen anything implemented yet, one year later.”

In his remarks, Huang shared news of a recent near miss he experienced. He said that at the same intersection where last year’s accident took place, he and one of his other children were nearly hit by a car that swerved around another vehicle that had stopped at the crosswalk. He said driving is getting dangerous, too.

“I decided to try to take matters into my own hands and try to make traffic safety brought to the forefront and acknowledged,” he said. “So I exercised my right as an American citizen to run for Township Committee because I think it’s a place where I can give fresh perspective and creative solutions to help improve pedestrian safety and address the increasing pedestrian, traffic and safety issues.”

Huang received 109 votes and Taylor received 269 votes during the June 5 primary.

In his election literature, Huang urged voters to vote for him and Michael J. Ferrante, the other Democrat running in the primary.

During his appearance before the Township Committee this week, Huang said Ferrante and Committeeman Matthew Scott, also a Democrat, had nothing to do with his campaign.

“If they don’t like the way I’m doing something or anybody else is doing something, then, certainly, they’re welcome to run for office and to get their point across,” Taylor said on June 12. “So for that, I continue to applaud him for standing up there and getting involved.”

Ferrante received 302 votes in the primary, according to the Middlesex County Clerk’s Office.

Scott said on June 12 that he thought Huang’s decision to run against Taylor “was likely inspired by a growing sense of frustration that some of the ‘newer’ residents in town have about the pace of change when it comes to basic issues like traffic safety.”

“I was proud of Andrew for coming to the meeting and telling his story of why he decided to launch a write-in campaign,” Ferrante said on June 12. “He clearly cares about our town and keeping our residents safe.”