Hillsborough Party committees select candidates for primary election


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Full party slates are set for the June primary election.

The Hillsborough Democratic Organization unanimously voted for Ron Yoder and Samantha Hand as their nominees for the upcoming Hillsborough Township Committee Democratic election.

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The Hillsborough Township Republican Committee selected Committeeman Jim Ruh and Catherine Payne to run in the Republican primary this June.

Hillsborough Township Committeeman and former Mayor Doug Tomson, a Republican, announced in February he is not seeking re-election in November.

Hillsborough Democratic candidates

Democratic Committee candidates Ron Yoder and Samantha Hand

Yoder is a lifetime member of Hillsborough Volunteer Fire Company No. 38. Yoder has an independent insurance practice in town, is a member of the Somerset County Business Partnership, and was a founding member of the BNI Hillsborough Chapter.

Previously Yoder was a member of the Hillsborough Economic Development Committee and volunteered to coach Little League. Yoder and his wife Mary Jane have been residents of Hillsborough Township for 32 years.

Hand is a senior director with Johnson and Johnson where she has spent 22 years in various positions. She currently volunteers with the Hillsborough Township Volunteer Fire Company No. 3 Auxiliary, and Hillsborough High School (HHS) Girls Lacrosse Booster Club.

Hand, her husband Matthew and her two daughters are 16-year residents of Hillsborough Township. Previously, Hand has volunteered with the HHS Girls Field Hockey Booster Club, the Hillsborough Junior Raiders, Hillsborough Township Life Skills Committee, Hillsborough Soccer Club, and Woods Road School Home Association.

“Hillsborough is a wonderful place to live and raise a family. However, the quality of life is being threatened by overdevelopment and poor planning,” Yoder said.

“We look forward to bringing different viewpoints and a clear vision to our town’s leadership,” Hand followed.

Hillsborough Republican candidates

Hillsborough Committeeman James Ruh

As a 35 year plus resident, Ruh was appointed to the Hillsborough Township Committee in December and previously served on the Hillsborough Board of Education.

Payne who has lived in Hillsborough since 2007 currently serves on the Township Board of Adjustment and a volunteer at GIGI’s Playhouse and Saint Joseph’s Church in Hillsborough.

Hillsborough Republican candidate Catherine Payne

“Hillsborough Township is lucky to have so many great candidates step forward to represent Hillsborough,” said Ken Scherer, who serves as Hillsborough Republican Chairman and previously served as township mayor and county freeholder (now commission). “Jim’s longtime dedication to Hillsborough and business background and Catherine’s volunteerism and business leadership will guarantee Hillsborough will be in good hands for years to come.”

Ruh moved to Hillsborough in 1989 and is a graduate of Hillsborough High School. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business management from Fairleigh Dickinson University.  He has worked for the same company since high school and is currently the vice president for sales.

He lives with his wife Cybil, and three children – James, Isabella and Greyson. He is also the executive director for the Shaun O’Hara Foundation and has worked to organize their annual golf outing for the last 13 years.

“I’m honored to receive my party’s endorsement for a full term on the Township Committee,” Ruh said. “I truly believe Hillsborough is one of the best towns in America.  This town has given me so many opportunities in life and have provided my family with the American Dream. My goal is to ensure that Hillsborough is an amazing town for years to come.”

Payne, originally from Bridgewater, moved to Hillsborough in 2007 with her husband Al Payne, a Hillsborough High School graduate. She earned her bachelor’s degree from High Point University in international business and Spanish. Their oldest daughter, Brenna, is a freshman at West Chester University and their twins, Emma and Dylan, are sophomores at Hillsborough High School.

She is active with GiGi’s Playhouse of Hillsborough as both a literacy tutor and fundraising chair. GiGi’s supports participants of all ages with Down syndrome with free services that enrich and improve their lives.

“As a longtime volunteer for my children, I know the benefits of giving back to your community can bring,” Payne said. “I’m excited to bring my voice as a mother, as a business leader and as fighter to the township committee.”

The primary election is on June 6.

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