Anemic Turnout For Primary Election


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Tuesday, June 4, was primary day and the percentage of people in Verona was the lowest it has been in several election cycles. Only 8.5% of Verona’s 12,822 registered voters cast ballots, down from 23.6% in last year’s municipal elections. Turnout was strongest in District 1, which is the Claridge House, at 17.6%. District 10, which encompasses voters around Laning Avenue School, came in second with an 11.6% turnout.

President Joe Biden received 615 votes in the Democratic primary for president, while a challenger, Terrisa Bukovinac, received just eight votes. Former President Donald Trump ran unopposed in the Republican primary and got 421 votes in Verona. Trump got 715 Verona votes in the 2016 primary and 3,224 Verona votes in the general election that year. In the 2020 presidential election, Trump got 3,693 Verona votes. On May 30, the former president was found guilty by a New York City jury on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

In the Democratic primary for New Jersey Senate, Rep. Andy Kim received 499 votes here, compared to 53 for Lawrence Hamm and 47 for Patricia Campos-Medina. In the Republican contest, Curtis Bashaw led with 255 votes, compared to 133 for Christine Serrano Glassner, 29 for Albert Harshaw and 25 for Justin Murphy.

Verona is now part of District 10 in the House of Representatives. Rep. Donald Payne Jr. got 515 Verona votes in the Democratic primary, even though he passed away at the end of April. Carmen Bucco ran unopposed in the Republican primary and got 383 votes. Eleven people have filed petitions to run in a special primary on July 16 to decide the Democratic Party candidate for District 10 in the November general election.

In the Essex County sheriff’s races, Amir Jones was the winner among Democrats with 419 Verona votes, while Nicholas Pansini won on the Republican side with 302 votes.

Both of the major parties also ran candidates for their respective county committees, which are sometimes referred to as the “ground floor” of a party. Each of Verona’s 11 districts had to choose two representatives. Those chosen, and their total votes, are below:

District 1Herbert Ford (55), Katherine Rollo (64)Regina Rachael (61), Mary Waugh (54)
District 2Gleb Drobkov (32), Janine Augustus (33)Renato Cappello (40), Nicholas Fierro (47)
District 3Charles Gray (40), Stephen Pope (30)Mark Vogel (22), Martin Cole (23)
District 4Andrea Lacotte (40), Branka Kurta-Ali (32)Deborah Aldiero (40), Michael Pollack (40)
District 5Christine McGrath (51), Toral Patel (53)George Kozachuk (26), Michael LaRosa (25)
District 6Brian Caravello (34), Katherine Hartwyk (34)Michael Nochimson (32), John Sampers (31)
District 7Lonna Murphy (19), Kayla Lombardo (16)Sean Camp (28), Austin Camp (27)
District 8Wendi Caplan-Carroll (39), Robert Gottstein (29)Maguire Pecci (22), Kenton Gerlack Sr. (20)
District 9Deborah Salanon (58), Carrie Hayer (42)Paul Cillik Sr. (49), Joseph DiCosta (51)
District 10Carla Buglione (78), Valerie Brahver (62)James Fasanella (43), Verena Mikhael (47)
District 11John Callari (20), Tovah Kopan (14)Matthew Steitz (17), Luke Cerle (19)

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  1. What is so surprising. Perhaps some day NJ will change the Primary date so its citizens will have a chance to be heard as to who the Democratic and Republican nominee for President will be.


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