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Two Democratic incumbents run unopposed for two open seats on Hopewell Borough Council

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Councilwoman Samara McAuliffe (center)PHOTO COURTESY OF SAMARA MCAULIFFE
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Councilwoman Debra Stuhler (center)PHOTO COURTESY OF DEBRA STUHLER
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Councilwoman Samara McAuliffe (center)PHOTO COURTESY OF SAMARA MCAULIFFE
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Councilwoman Debra Stuhler (center)PHOTO COURTESY OF DEBRA STUHLER

Hopewell Borough has incumbents Samara McAuliffe and Debra Stuhler on the ballot in the upcoming uncontested general election race for two open seats on the Borough Council.

The two members of the council are seeking re-election as they each pursue a second term during the general election on Nov. 2. There are no Republican candidates for Borough Council on the ballot for the November general election.

Each of the two open seats carry a three-year term.

McAuliffe grew up in Hopewell Borough and Township and has resided in Hopewell Borough since 2004.

She attended school in the Hopewell Valley Regional School District and is the human resources director for a water resources engineering and natural resources management firm.

While on the council, she is part of the building committee, the recreation committee, and a working group made up of borough residents called Hopewell For All. Hopewell For All’s mission is to make Hopewell Borough more welcoming through education efforts, historical awareness, collaboration with local organizations and communication.

McAuliffe also serves Hopewell Borough Democratic Municipal Chair.

When asked about what are the top challenges facing the borough she said those challenges are ensuring that Hopewell is affordable and welcoming and continuing to address pedestrian and cyclist safety.

“I think it’s crucial that we continue the conversation around our tax base, especially as it pertains to affordable housing,” McAuliffe said. “Hopewell is a special place, and I want to be part of ensuring it is inclusive and welcoming to all through affordable housing, including rental opportunities.”

As a mixed-use town, it’s imperative that officials continue to focus on pedestrian and cyclist safety, she added.

“I’m excited about the potential formation of a Pedestrian, Bicycle and Safety Advisory Committee. I’m grateful to the residents, as well as Council members Ryan Kennedy and Chris Fossel, for their efforts to get this committee formally off the ground,” McAuliffe said.

Stuhler has been a borough resident since 2002 and has volunteered on boards such as the Hopewell Harvest Fair, Hopewell Block Party and Hopewell Valley Education Foundation.

In her career, Stuhler has worked for Merrill Lynch and Bank of America for 22 years as a vice president in technology and operations.

On the Borough Council, she serves as the council liaison to the local Board of Health, the Shade Tree Committee and the Recreation Committee.

Stuhler said she considers the two top challenges facing the borough to be traffic and maintaining safety.

“I think traffic (speeding and ignoring crosswalks) and the resulting public safety risks for pedestrians and bicyclists is an important issue. I think trying to maintain our town as a safe, walkable and friendly place is also very important,” she said. “I’m excited about all the changes that are taking place and I’m looking forward to serving the community for another term.”

The six-member Borough Council currently has a 5-1 Democratic majority.

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