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Votes certified in Princeton elections

Princeton voters have chosen Mark Freda to become the town’s second mayor since its consolidation in 2013, and also returned two incumbent Princeton Council members to serve on the governing body in the Nov. 3 general election.

Freda received 10,735 votes and council members David Cohen and Leticia Fraga received 10,414 votes and 10,436 votes, respectively, in the final vote tally released Nov. 20 by the Mercer County Board of Elections.

Voters cast 10,818 votes in the mayoral election, which included 83 votes for “personal choice,” or write-in candidates.

A total of 21,000 votes were cast in the Princeton Council election, which included 150 “personal choice” votes.

None of the candidates, who are all Democrats, faced opposition.

The mayor’s term is for four years and the Princeton Council terms are for three years.

Freda will succeed Mayor Liz Lempert, who did not seek re-election to a third term. She is the first mayor of the Municipality of Princeton, which was created in 2013 when the former Princeton Borough and the former Princeton Township consolidated.

Freda served on the former Princeton Borough Council from 1986-99, including a stint as the Princeton Borough Council president.

Freda grew up in Princeton and has volunteered with the Princeton Fire Department. He also has volunteered with the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad, of which he is the president.

Freda promised to work together with residents to address the challenges and issues as they arise. He pledged to be open and transparent in reaching decisions.

“All of us are on the same team – the residents, the elected officials and the town staff – and our goals should all be the same. I look forward to our future and all of us working together,” Freda said.

Cohen, who was pleased to have been re-elected, said he does not want voters to think that he takes their support for granted.

“I will always be happy to hear from residents about their concerns, or just to get to know each other better,” Cohen said.

In his second term, Cohen said he plans to continue to focus on smart growth and to implement sustainable policies that enhance the livability and economic vitality of Princeton, while also ensuring that the benefits of good environmental policy are enjoyed by all residents.

“What this means in practice is to advocate for good design and to reduce the carbon footprint of our affordable housing projects as they move forward,” he said.

Making it safe to walk and ride a bicycle around town is another priority, Cohen said. Upgrading the town’s stormwater management capabilities to handle current and future levels of rainfall to prevent flooding is another of his goals for his next term, he said.

Fraga also thanked voters for their vote of confidence in her by granting her a second term. She is proud of what she and her Princeton Council colleagues have accomplished in the past three years.

Fraga said her goal has always been to see all residents flourish, and she is grateful to have been given the opportunity to continue that work by the voters.

In addition to addressing the issues and initiatives that will come before the Princeton Council, Fraga said she will work to ensure that the Princeton Health Department and the Princeton Human Services Department have the resources they need to meet residents’ needs.

“I will continue to work with members of our municipal boards, commissions and committees, as well as our many community partners, to seek community-driven solutions that uphold our share values, with a focus on equity, affordability, prosperity and inclusion,” Fraga said.

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