There was little suspense at Conte’s Pizza and Bar – the traditional election night hangout for Princeton Democrats – as the election results for the Princeton Council race were methodically posted on a tally sheet taped to the wall.
Princeton Democrats rubbed shoulders with current and former elected officials as they waited for the results trickle in. By 9 p.m., it was all over.
When the last votes were counted, Princeton Councilwoman Eve Niedergang had earned 3,293 votes and her running mate, political newcomer Leighton Newlin, had earned 3,267 votes to win three-year terms on the Princeton Council – which did not come as a surprise, because they were running unopposed.
The election results are unofficial until they are certified by Mercer County.
Nevertheless, Niedergang and Newlin were appreciative that voters chose them to serve on the Princeton Council. This marks Niedergang’s second term, and Newlin’s first term. They will be officially sworn into office in January.
Niedergang said she was “really excited” to win another term on the Princeton Council. It will allow her to continue to work on issues ranging from open space preservation to affordable housing, infrastructure and climate issues.
“Climate issues are key,” Niedergang said.
One of those climate issues is flooding, which is something that residents should not have to deal with, she said. There has to be a better way to deal with flooding, and as a community, steps must be taken to address it, she said.
Niedergang said she also expects to focus on infrastructure – specifically, the sewer system. The town needs to make investments in it, she said, even if it is not one of the “sexiest” topics.
In her second term, Niedergang said, she wants to continue to focus on social justice and racial equality issues.
“I want to make Princeton a home that is accessible to the many, not just the few,” she said.
Newlin said that as a newcomer to the Princeton Council, he is going to “listen, pay attention, learn, do the research and become a student again.”
“I am going to make good choices for the people of this fine town, and do so with humility. ‘Smart growth, wise choices’ is not just a campaign slogan. It’s a personal mantra for the next chapter in my life,” Newlin said.
“I just want Princeton to be even greater than it is now. We can do that. We have the intellect, the resources and the bandwidth of the citizens to do it,” he said.