Two newcomers will fill seats on Hillsborough Township Committee

Hand will serve as the lone Democrat on the committee


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Somerset County Clerk’s Office certified election results on Nov. 22.

Voters in Hillsborough Township went to the polls on Nov. 7 and elected members of the governing body.

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Hillsborough Township Committee

Four candidates, including one incumbent, vied for the two, three-year term seats open on the Hillsborough Township Committee in the general election.

Democratic candidate Samantha Hand garnered the most votes with 5,869, followed by Republican candidate Catherine Payne with 5,764 votes to secure the two seats open on the committee.

Incumbent James “Jim” Ruh received 5,759 votes and Democratic candidate Ronald Yoder received 5,681 votes in their losing bids for the seats. There were 63 write-in votes.

Ahead of the general election, we asked candidates why they were running for an elected seat and what they would like to concentrate on as an elected official.

Catherine Payne

Catherine Payne will begin her first term when the committee reorganizes in January.

Why are you running for an elected seat?

My commitment to Hillsborough has guided for the actions and experiences of myself and my family throughout our 16 years here and I want to take those experiences and make a greater difference for Hillsborough families and residents. I have volunteered for Woods Road PTA, Cub scouts and Girl scouts, GiGi’s Playhouse, and serving the Parish
of St. Joseph. The best way I can continue helping the Hillsborough community is by committing my time and energy to the Township Committee to keep Hillsborough one of the ‘Best Places to Live in America.’

What is one area you would like to concentrate on if elected?

Overdevelopment is the key issue, driven by the state’s affordable housing mandates. Similar to the warehouses, I plan to address the affordable housing by emphasizing and enforcing our existing Master Plan and land use ordinances while updating the plan for the future. We must continue expanding our already extensive open space and preserved farmland. Lastly, we will continue lobbying our New Jersey Legislature representatives in Trenton to address the affordable housing mandate crisis by passing meaningful legislation reforms, as has been told by the New Jersey State Supreme Court.

Samantha Hand

Samantha Hand will begin her first term when the committee reorganizes in January.

Why are you running for an elected seat?

My reason for seeking election is to tap into the strengths and capabilities of our residents, as together, we can help make Hillsborough stronger and more affordable for our children, our seniors and my fellow residents. The Republican Party has controlled Hillsborough for 20 years. Healthy debate is stifled and their lack of vision and planning has left Hillsborough’s future in doubt. As a Democrat, I am committed to bringing new ideas with sensible solutions to address the challenges we face as a community. I am running to ensure Hillsborough gets back on track!

What is one area you would like to concentrate on if elected?

We need to ensure Hillsborough’s growth is in a manner that maintains our quality of life while at the same time promoting sensible economic progress. This requires a comprehensive review of the Master Plan that drives how we move forward as a community. I would involve residents, business owners and property owners in this process. I would seek guidance from thought leaders at local universities on how new trends and regulations may affect communities in the future. This information will be used to generate an accurate roadmap to guide Hillsborough into a bright and dynamic future.

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