Certified results confirm winners in contested races for Hopewell Township Committee, Hopewell valley school board


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Throughout Hopewell Valley, there were only two contested races, both for seats representing Hopewell Township on the Township Committee and Hopewell Valley school board, in the Nov. 2 General Election.

Races in the General Election were for seats on the Hopewell Township Committee, Hopewell Valley Regional Board of Education, Pennington’s mayoral race, Pennington Council seats, and Hopewell Borough Council seats.

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The Nov. 2 election was held with vote-by-mail ballots, early in-person voting in late October, in-person voting and provisional ballots.

Mercer County has released the certified results from the Nov. 2 General Election.

Hopewell Township: Hopewell Township Committee (one open seat for a three-year term)

Democrat Uma Purandare is the certified winner in a contested race with Republican Ed Jackowski for a seat on the Township Committee. Purandare received 4,210 votes and Republican Ed Jackowski received 2,911 votes when all votes were counted.

Purandare entered the election for the three-year term after Julie Blake, current mayor and township committeewoman, who had won the Democratic primary in June, withdrew her name from the ballot on Sept. 7.

Due to Blake’s withdrawal, the Hopewell Township Democratic Committee unanimously chose Purandare to replace her on the ballot in September.

Purandare’s election to the Township Committee maintains a Democratic majority on the governing body.

She a research scientist who has lived in Hopewell Township for 22 years and is married to Ashok. Purandare is a mother of two and volunteers with the Hopewell Valley Mobile Food Pantry. She has served as a member of the Hopewell Township Zoning Board of Adjustment for six years.

Pennington: Pennington mayoral race (two years of an unexpired term), Pennington Council seats (two open seats, each three-year terms)

The mayoral race was uncontested.

Mayor James Davy, a Democrat, is carrying out the two years left on former Mayor Joe Lawver’s unexpired term. He was appointed to the position on June 7 when Lawver resigned during the summer.

Davy received 931 votes during the Nov. 2 General Election.

Davy was a former New Jersey commissioner of Human Services, administrator for Hopewell Township and a borough councilman. He is currently a distinguished practitioner in residence in the School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) at Rutgers University–Newark and is the director of the Center for Applied Appreciative Inquiry.

The races for two Pennington Council seats, which are three-year terms, were also uncontested.

Incumbent Councilwoman Deborah Gnatt and newcomer Nadine Stern, both Democrats, each secured the three-year terms.

Stern received 914 votes and Gnatt earned 913 votes.

A Democratic majority is maintained on the Borough Council after the election.

Stern has lived in Pennington for 32 years and retired in 2019. She had previously worked as a deputy chief information officer (CIO) at Princeton University for eight years. She served on the Pennington Democratic Committee, Planning Board and Zoning Board, and currently serves on the Environmental Commission.

Gnatt serves on the Open Space Committee, Planning Board and Zoning Board, as well as the Borough Council.

Hopewell Borough: Hopewell Borough Council (two seats, each three-year terms)

Incumbent Democrats Samara McAuliffe and Debra Stuhler each earned a three-year term after seeking re-election.

The races for the two open seats on the council were uncontested races in Hopewell.

McAuliffe received 750 votes and Stuhler secured 747 votes during the 2021 General Election.

The Hopewell Borough Council also continues with a Democratic majority as the governing body soon enters 2022.

McAuliffe grew up in Hopewell Borough and Hopewell 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.

She is also part of the building committee, the recreation committee, and a working group of borough residents called Hopewell For All.

Stuhler has been a borough resident since 2002 and volunteered on boards such as the Hopewell Harvest Fair, Hopewell Block Party and Hopewell Valley Education Foundation. She has worked for Merrill Lynch and Bank of America for 22 years as a vice president in technology and operations.

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

Hopewell Valley Regional Board of Education (Hopewell Township, two three-year terms) (Pennington, one three-year term)

Jacqueline Genovesi and current Board President Deborah Linthorst earned the two seats to represent Hopewell Township. The race featured Genovesi, Linthorst and Kimberly Stolow.

Genovesi received 3,535 votes, Linthorst earned 3,210 votes, and Stolow secured 2,970 votes.

Genovesi is a mother of three Hopewell Valley students. She is the vice president for the Center for STEAM Equity at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.

Linthorst is currently a stay-at-home parent and community volunteer. She is the mother of four children in the Valley. She has worked as a lobbyist and legislative analyst in Washington, D.C., earned a second term on the school board and has served as board president for the past two years in her first term on the board.

A third seat was also open on the school board, but was for the sole seat representing Pennington. The race was uncontested for newcomer Alexander Reznik.

Reznik received 745 votes, according to the certified results from Mercer County.

He is 47 years old and currently a pre-sales technologist focusing on the telecom industry. Reznik has been living in the Hopewell Valley for 18 years and is a father of three.

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