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November 5th General Election Information [Part 2 – Union County]

By on Nov 4 2013.
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November 2013 General Election Sample Ballot

November 2013 General Election Sample Ballot

The 2013 General Election is tomorrow.  Sample Ballots containing the names of 33 candidates and 2 public questions have been released.  This election will decide the next New Jersey Governor, State District 21 Senate & General Assembly legislators, Union County Sheriff, Union County Freeholders, Springfield Township Committee members, and Springfield Board of Education members.  We are republishing the Springfielder.com November 5th General Election Information analysis in smaller posts based on the level of government.

Column A represents the Democratic slate of candidates while Column B represents the Republican slate of candidates.  Candidates in Columns C through H are running for Governor & Lieutenant Governor under other party banners.  For many years, Union County Democrats have enjoyed the advantage of being in Column A.  According to N.J.S.A. 19:14-12, the County Clerk draws the ballot positions for the general election candidates 85 days before the election.  Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi, a Democrat and former Springfield Mayor, Township Committeewoman, and Freeholder, again drew Column A for her party ballot position.  Many are suspicious about the integrity of the process and impartiality of the alleged random selection that has seen Democrats win Column A for a number of consecutive years.

Three seats are up for grabs on the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.  Incumbents Linda Carter, Bette Jane Kowalski and Sergio Granados are challenged by newcomers and Republican placeholders Marc Krauss, P. Mark Martini, and Ira Geiger.  Granados was appointed six weeks before the election to fill the seat vacated by former Freeholder Daniel Sullivan who resigned to take on another paid County position overseeing the County Improvement Authority.  This gives Granados the incumbent advantage although it is hardly needed in Union County.  Carter, Kowalski and Granados will likely win, despite the popular Governor’s coattails.  Krauss, Martini and Geiger also lack the experience and name recognition to help carry them to victory.  They are political newcomers with the exception of former Springfield Township Committeeman Krauss, who suffered a relatively large and embarrassing loss during his re-election campaign.  While the top three candidates in his last race were all within 60 votes of each other, his unpopularity was evident as he trailed behind by more than double the vote margin.

Democrat County Sheriff, Ralph Froehlich, is running unopposed.  He is the longest-serving sheriff in New Jersey history, currently in his 12th term.  In a county with significant Democratic voter registrations, he continues to enjoy the many benefits of the position.  He officially retired over two decades ago in order to collect his pension in addition to his salary.  Froehlich collects over $220,000 a year between his salary and pension payments, which have totaled nearly $1 million.  Without a challenger, Froehlich will go on to serve his 13th term after the November election.

The online version of the sample ballot for Springfield is available at http://ucnj.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/union-sample-fm31.pdf

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