Bernards Democrats Say They'll be Back for 2012 Election
Two Democratic candidates who trailed in Township Committee race say they intend to run again next year. ADDED response from Republicans.
Democrats Bonnie Diehl and Mike Komondy, who placed third and fourth behind the two Republican incumbents in November's election for two spots on the Township Committee, on Sunday said they intend to run again next year.
"The Republicans have been in office for a while," said Komondy. He said the controlling party has a huge amount of resources to draw upon when campaigning. However, he added he believes local Democrats are becoming "energized" and will reach out next year to younger residents and independent voters who might be more likely to vote differently.
And both Diehl and Komondy said they will run again next year.
Deputy Mayor Mary Pavlini and Township Committeeman John Carpenter, who were re-elected to additional three-year terms on the all-Republican governing body, received 2,617 and 2,832 votes on Tuesday night in results released by the Township Clerk's office, which included absentee but not paper provisional votes. Komondy and Diehl received 1,606 and 1,569 votes apiece.
Immediately following their re-election, Pavlini and Carpenter both mentioned the township's fiscal management as a primary reason they said they captured a majority of voters' support.
"I think the voters are paying attention to fiscal matters," Carpenter said after results were in. "For Mary and I and the rest of the Township Committee, this is a priority for us," he said.
Diehl said the Republicans also spent far more money on the Democrats during the campaign. She said the GOP is the "good old system" in Bernards Township.
Carpenter added in a response on Monday morning, "Mary and I ran a successful reelection campaign that was characteristically efficient, effective, and debt free. But that's not why we were reelected. We were reelected because we run a municipal government that is characteristically efficient effective and debt free. And the voters appreciate that."
Diehl said the Democrats are fiscally conservative too, but she said she doesn't fault the Republicans for their financial approach.
However, she said that she feels that too much goes on behind closed doors, and she still would like to more openness, less litigation and better management.
Responding to criticism during the campaign that the Democrats did not attend many Township Committee meetings, Komondy said he intends to show up at meetings and question officials about such issues as the concern by some residents about asphalt tailings deposited at Whitenack Woods. "I can ask the tough questions," he said.
In response to a question, Komondy said he believes that seeking office as a Democrat in Bernards Township is more of an uphill battle, and more difficult. But, he said, "It's achievable."