OLD BRIDGE – A special do-over election is set for March 22 to determine the outcome for the Ward 4 council seat in Old Bridge.
Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. at school locations in the ward, according to Township Clerk Kathryn Hutchinson.
The four-year term has been vacant since Middlesex County Superior Court Judge Thomas Daniel McCloskey invalidated the Nov. 2 election results, citing 27 registered voters received the wrong ballot and were placed in Ward 2.
He scheduled a do-over election for March 22 in his decision on Dec. 29.
Seventeen of those 27 voters casted a vote in November. Ward redistricting maps had put voters from the odd numbered homes of Cymbeline Drive in Ward 2 and the even numbered homes in Ward 4, according to court documents.
In the election, Democrat Jill DeCaro, with 1,554 votes, appeared to have defeated Republican incumbent Mark Razzoli, who received 1,543 votes.
Razzoli, who is seeking his second term, filed a verified petition to contest the election results on Dec. 2.
Prior to the November election, Razzoli shared why he was running for another term and what he would like to focus on.
“I am running to serve another term on the Old Bridge council because I want to see our township continue to thrive,” he said. “During my tenure, Old Bridge has been listed as the 15th safest town in America. As a retired Jersey City detective, public safety is always at the top of my list. Our town is proud to be recognized for its support of the police and for its safety and security for every resident.”
Razzoli said he has focused on making the best investments possible in the township’s infrastructure because safety is a priority.
“We are constantly maintaining and improving parks, roadways, drainage, and other areas for Old Bridge families,” he said. “Keeping our community safe during the pandemic has also been my focus. This means not only keeping residents healthy, but making sure that small businesses are both supported and promoted to keep our local economy healthy.”
In addition to public safety, Razzoli said he wants “to make sure our senior citizens are well cared for.”
“As our residents know, Old Bridge has a fully accredited senior center, providing programs and services for our seniors,” he said. “We have the only accredited senior center in Middlesex County and one of three in the entire state.”
Razzoli noted he also sponsored the resolution to restore the Homestead Rebate Act and the Senior Freeze Program.
“It is imperative to me that those programs remain viable,” he said.
During Razzoli’s time on the dais, Old Bridge has had a 0% tax increase.
“I am committed to the continued stabilization of our taxes,” he said. “It will always be a top priority of mine to be a wise steward of our taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars.”
If re-elected, Razzoli said he will maintain the same level of public safety Old Bridge families have become accustomed to, while looking for areas in which to improve.
“I will always fight for the freedoms Old Bridge residents deserve as citizens of this great nation,” he said.
DeCaro, who is seeking her first term, also shared why she is running for the seat and what she would like to focus on.
“I’m running for a seat on Town Council to represent the residents of Ward 4,” she said. “Our current councilman was elected as a Democrat with my help. However, he has since switched parties and has been a candidate for higher office three times, all in his first term, while juggling multiple scandals. Ward 4 residents deserve better. They deserve a representative that will be present and who will listen to and advocate for them. They do not need divisive national politics to be the focus of local meetings. My ward’s residents need a voice and I will give it to them.”
If elected, DeCaro said there are many areas she would like to focus from “seeing the completion of the Cottrell Farms project, preserving open space, providing a township-wide bulk pickup program and providing improved services for the seniors” to “our Camp Robin program, our before/after care programs, and addressing the traffic on Phillips Drive, and installing a traffic light at Valley Vale Drive and Ticetown Road.”
“However, my first focus is to bring unity back to the council,” she said. “We are all so politically divided that we tend to forget we are neighbors and friends. We must get back to a culture of service to the residents,” she said.
Polling locations include Alan B. Shephard School, Walter M. Schirra School, James McDivitt School and Carl Sandberg Middle School.
For more information, visit www.oldbridge.com/page/elections.