Cranbury Township Committee election remains unresolved

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Democratic Township Committeeman Michael J. Ferrante and Republican challenger Wayne Wittman are tied in their contest for Township Committee, with provisional ballots still needing to be counted to decide the winner.

The latest totals give both men 1,044 votes each, according to the Middlesex County Clerk’s Office as of Nov.15.

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Democratic Township Committeeman Jay Taylor leads the field overall at 1,085 votes in his bid for re-election, while Wittman and Ferrante battle it out for the other seat. The top two finishers will win the two seats for three-year terms on the committee.

“I can’t believe it’s taking this long to do this election,” Ferrante said on Nov. 13.

The Middlesex County Board of Elections said on Nov. 13 that all of the provisional ballots that were cast in the county, about 7,000 votes, were due to be counted beginning Nov. 14. The office was not able to say how many of those votes were for Cranbury, but Ferrante has said there are 86 provisional ballots for the township.

The Board of Elections said results would not be given to the County Clerk’s Office until Nov.19.

Taylor could not be reached for comment. He has said he thinks it is unlikely Ferrante or Wittman would be able to overtake him, and expressed confidence he had won a fourth term.

Ferrante and Wittman have had to endure a week of uncertainty concerning their political futures. Wittman, a former township committeeman, is attempting to make a comeback.

“We ran a very positive campaign,” Wittman said. “The people in town will choose who they best want to represent them. We did a good job.”

Ferrante was trying to hold on to the seat he was appointed to earlier this year to replace Committeeman David Cook, who resigned. Ferrante is a former Cranbury school board member.

“Wayne and I have good relationship. We’ve been in communication,” Ferrante said.

He said he feels that “whatever happens, Cranbury’s in good hands.”

“I’m not concerned,” he said. “It’ll be what it’ll be.”

Ferrante said he did not know what would happen in case there is a tie after all the votes are counted.

“Would be kind of fun, though,” he said.

Regardless of who wins, Democrats will hold their majority on the governing body, now at 4-1. Heading into the election, the best Republicans could have hoped for was to pick up one of the two seats up for grabs.

Wittman originally had a running mate, Nancy Witt, who was a candidate in the Township Committee race in 2017. Witt dropped out of the 2018 race shortly after she and Wittman won the uncontested primary in June.

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