Two incumbents, two newcomers receive Democrat support for June primary in Edison

EDISON – The Edison Democratic Organization (EDO) will support two incumbents and two newcomers for the Township Council in the June primary.

It was democracy at its best as the 156-member EDO selected four Township Council candidates at a nomination screening on March 14 that was held at the Pines Manor. Twelve candidates, including four incumbents – Joseph Coyle, Michael Lombardi, Ajay Patil and Leonard Sendelsky – vied for support.

After the voting process and one ballot disqualification, Patil, who currently serves as council vice president, and Coyle garnered the support of the party, as they begin the process of running for their second terms.

Coyle said he grew up with strong values and is for doing more with less and for practical, smart growth and quality of life for residents.

Patil said in his first term he has fought to attract new ratables and address quality of life issues. He said government transparency is important as they work together to make Edison better and affordable.

Newcomers Richard Brescher, who is currently a member of the Edison Board of Education (BOE), and Joyce Ship-Freeman, who currently serves as vice president on the Edison Library Board of Trustees, also garnered support of the party.

Brescher said he would use his experience on the BOE and provide a pair of independent eyes to review the proposal for the new community center and the proposal for the proposed $811.3 million 40-year lease agreement with Suez North America.

Ship-Freeman, who is a lifelong resident of the township, said she advocates for resident concerns and has experience on the YMCA and library board.

At the beginning of the screening process, Shariq Ahmed, EDO chair, said regardless of the outcome, he urged the party to unite and get behind the winners.

Incumbents Lombardi, who is seeking his third term on council, and Sendelsky, who is seeking his second term, did not receive the party’s support.

During the screening, Lombardi said he would like to see the ultimate closing of the 220-acre Kin-Buc landfill superfund site, which has been 15 years in the making. He said an alternative capping method is in discussion, which would not only be cost-effective, but offer 20 acres of land that could be designated as recreational fields.

Sendelsky said he was seeking the party’s nomination, stating “there is a lot more work to do” with the proposal to build a new community center, economic development, parks and closing the landfill.