Hightstown voters returned one incumbent council member and chose a political newcomer to fill two seats on the Hightstown Borough Council in the Nov. 3 general election.
Incumbent Joseph Cicalese earned 1,617 votes and his running mate, Cristina Fowler, got 1793 votes. The two Democrats defeated Republican Party challenger James M. “Mickey” Eufemia, who earned 869 votes.
Hightstown Borough Councilman Charles “Lee” Stults did not seek re-election. He is a Republican.
The final vote tally also includes 21 votes for “personal choice,” which is a write-in candidate.
A total of 4,300 votes were cast, according to the official results updated Nov. 20 by the Mercer County Clerk’s Office.
Cicalese, who was elected in 2019 to fill out an unexpired term, sought election to a full three-year term. He has lived in Hightstown since 2016 and works for Conair in East Windsor.
“With the election behind us, I am excited to press on with my work on the council. I will continue to promote increased transparency and share openly our efforts to manage costs, while improving the quality of life and building public trust,” Cicalese said.
With a nod to the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges it has presented to residents, Cicalese said public health and safety will be a priority while ensuring Hightstown businesses may continue to thrive and flourish.
Cicalese pledged to promote and support initiatives that will achieve that goal through coordinated efforts with the town’s advisory boards and committees to connect the local businesses with the resources that they need.
Fowler, who is a political newcomer, said she is honored and thankful to be elected to the Hightstown Borough Council. She has lived in Hightstown for three years. She is the marketing manager for Keep Middlesex Moving.
Fowler said she wants to focus on the economic development of the business district, including exploring the possibility of creating a Business Improvement District or an Economic Development Commission.
Fowler promised to advocate for the town’s small businesses, and acknowledged that she is “passionate” about Hightstown’s downtown area. Its success and growth contribute to the overall attractiveness of Highstown, she said.
“There is plenty of work to do,” Fowler said.
Enhancing communications between the town and its residents is another goal that she plans to reach, she said. She would like to explore establishing a digital media footprint that complements the town’s current website and e-newsletter blasts.
Hightstown may be small in size at one square mile, but it is big in heart, she said. The town has much going for it as a walkable community with a small downtown area, she added.
The issues that she plans to address will make Hightstown Borough more attractive and will move the town forward to become a more sustainable and desirable destination, Fowler said. It will increase property values and encourage more businesses to open their doors on Main Street, she said.