Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Lakewood Election Coverage

A.P.P. :

A heated campaign that featured a steady flow of literature ended at the wire Tuesday with voters re-electing Mayor Charles Cunliffe and Township Committeeman Raymond G. Coles.The incumbent Democrats survived a strong challenge from Republicans Steve Langert and Sean D. Gertner for two three-year terms.
Unofficial poll results from the Ocean County Board of Elections showed Coles led all candidates with 7,941 votes; Cunliffe received 7,589 votes; Langert got 6,529 votes and Gertner received 6,095 votes. Lakewood has 34,793 registered voters."Any win is a good win," Coles said from the Democratic victory party at Attilio's Pizzeria on Route 9. "You like to take the other guy to the cleaners, but it doesn't happen every time. It's a healthy win."Coles, 47, and Cunliffe, 52, said they were proud of their campaign, though there was a lot of negative campaign literature circulated throughout the community with no names attached."I wish you could see this," Cunliffe said. "What I'm most proud of is we have people from every corner of town. Our coalition is . . . everybody."
The difference in the election was likely the endorsement of the Vaad, an influential council of Orthodox Jewish leaders that drives voter turnout in the Orthodox community.The Vaad endorsed Cunliffe and Coles."They've been there," said Joseph Atlas, a Vaad spokesman. "It was a very tough decision."The race ended Tuesday with some confusion over where to cast ballots because changes to voting districts caught some voters by surprise. Most changes had been announced earlier this year.Voters who used to cast ballots at Hope Chapel Hall on Hope Chapel Road were moved Tuesday to the municipal building on Third Street. It was the latest phase of a plan started this spring to remove polling sites from religious buildings.Residents of District 13 also were moved, from a building in The Villas development along County Line Road to the Lakewood Community Center on Fourth Street.Most voters, though, didn't report problems finding their districts.
Abraham Goodman, 24, a rabbinical student at Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, voted at the municipal building and chose Coles and Langert. Goodman called Coles a "mensch" and described Langert as a successful, self-made man."He's not a bureaucrat," Goodman said. "He's a businessman. He knows how to get things done."...
During the campaign, Gertner and Langert said spending is unbridled because of poorly managed resources, and a reliance on a now-dwindled surplus was the only way to keep the tax rate low.Coles and Cunliffe said they lowered the municipal tax rate for seven out of the last nine years and provided more services through a new quality-of-life initiative.
posted by Yeshiva Orthodoxy
at 1:58 PM

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