The Morristown Town Council in 2012 will look pretty much the way it did in 2011, as all three incumbents seeking new terms defeated their opponents on .
In Ward 3–the only local race with a pair of new challengers–Democrat Stefan Armington took the victory, beating Republican write-in Ed Ramirez.
In the First Ward, independent incumbent Rebecca Feldman handily beat her only opponent, Republican Jenny Peters. Feldman got 455 votes to Peters' 89, according to unofficial results. Peters–since becoming a write-in candidate shortly after the June primaries–all but disappeared from the public eye in recent months, and was the only candidate to not appear in the League of Women Voters Candidate's Night in October.
"This shows the voters, at least in the First Ward, see beyond party lines," Feldman said, noting an unusually strong Republican contingent in the First Ward of Morristown, overall a primarily Democratic town. "People had a choice, and they still chose me. That's pretty cool."
In the Second Ward, longtime Democratic incumbent Raline Smith-Reid easily defeated her Republican opponent, political newcomer Naveen Nadipuram, to gain a fourth term. Smith-Reid gained 263 votes to Nadipuram's 62.
"What can I say? I want to stay focused on the things important to my constituency," Smith-Reid said Tuesday night.
It was a political season not without bumps and hurdles for Smith-Reid, who had won the June primary by a very small margin, only to have her Democratic competitor, planning board member Toshiba Foster,
"It was a very tough road during this whole election process," Smith-Reid said.
Nadipuram, a resident of Morristown's Second Ward for a year, said he learned a lot from the race.
"I needed to be realistic–Ward 2 is heavily Democratic territory," the Republican said. "But, I got to know the town, the issues and meet the people. It was a good experience. I am definitely going to stay involved with the issues in town and stay in touch with town council."
In the Third Ward, Stefan Armington defeated write-in Republican candidate Ed Ramirez 323-184, according to unofficial results. The Third Ward was the only ward this Election Day without a running incumbent. With Armington , it appeared he would have an easy victory come November. That is, until Republican Ed Ramirez became a write-in candidate shortly after primaries.
"I'm very happy. I've been pushing for this for quite a while," said Armington, who ran unsuccessfully as an Independent four years ago. "I've been very active ever since. And, it paid off. I'm very happy."
Immediately on his agenda when he is sworn in on Jan. 1 is the need to address what Armington called "a lack of communication from council to residents.
"I want to reach to the residents interested in participating and create a database," he said.
Armington also said traffic remains a perpetual issue of concern among residents, one he said needed to be addressed as soon as possible. There, he also said he wanted to continue to get residents involved in the process.
Ramirez was not immediately available for comment.
In the Fourth Ward, incumbent Alison Deeb–the only Republican on the xouncil–fended off a challenge by political newcomer Denis Ciklic, a Democrat. Deeb got 431 votes, Ciklic 317, sending Deeb to her second term on the council.
"I have to say it's just wonderful," said Deeb, acknowledging the heavy Democratic lean in Morristown. "It's a huge vote of confidence. I'm really excited, overwhelmed and elated at the same time."
Deeb, like Armington, said all the hard work put forth before and during the campaign paid off.
"I look forward to being able to continue my work and services," she said. "I'm very grateful for the people who came out and voted today. It's really for them."
Ciklic, another political newcomer, wished his victorious opponent the best in her next term.
"I'm happy with the way the campaign went," he said. "It was a nice, positive campaign."
Asked whether he would consider participating in town government going forward–including another shot at town council–Ciklic said first he needed to focus on his family, which would be gaining a new member in January as his wife, Erin, was giving birth.
"I'm proud of all the support I got," he said.