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Bluth to become Hightstown mayor; defeats challenger in November election

Hightstown Borough Council President Susan Bluth defeated challenger Michael Bollentin to become the next mayor of Hightstown Borough in the November general election.

Bluth, who is a Democrat, received 912 votes. Bollentin, who was nominated by petition, earned 522 votes. The Republican Party did not field a candidate for mayor.

The unofficial tally includes ballots cast Nov. 8, plus early voting, vote by mail and provisional ballots, said Mercer County Clerk Paula Sollami Covello. It does not include write-in votes.

The results will not be official until Sollami Covello certifies them to the Division of Elections within the Department of State, which is expected to occur by Nov. 26.

Bluth and Bollentin were seeking to replace Mayor Lawrence Quattrone, who decided against running for re-election. He is a Democrat.

Bluth took over the duties of mayor for several months while Quattrone took time off for health reasons.

“I would like to thank the residents for their support in electing me to be the next mayor of our wonderful borough,” Bluth said.

“My goal as mayor is to close out long-standing projects, such as the completion of our new Borough offices at the prior YMCA building, as well as push forward movement on the rug mill redevelopment,” she said.

The former Hightstown Rug Mill property, bounded by Bank Street, North Academy Street and North Main Street, is slated to be redeveloped. A plan was approved in 2020 for a mixed-use redevelopment of existing buildings on the property and construction of new buildings that would contain rental apartments.

The former YMCA building at 230 Mercer St. is slated to become the new Hightstown Borough Hall. It would replace the former municipal building, which was flooded by Hurricane Irene in 2011.

“I will also be vigorously exploring a cannabis opt-in ordinance,” Bluth said.

The Hightstown Borough Council approved an ordinance in May 2021 that banned the sale, packaging, distribution and cultivation of cannabis ahead of an August 2021 deadline to take action.

Hightstown officials later placed a public question on the Nov. 2, 2021 general election ballot asking residents whether the mayor and Hightstown Borough Council should adopt an ordinance to allow the retail sale of cannabis products in the borough.

The public question – to allow the retail sale of cannabis – was approved by a margin of 817 votes to 507 votes.

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