What is arguably the most closely-watched political race in New Jersey this year will finally take place this week, after years of anticipation and build-up, and months of political rancor among the top contenders.
This week, Jersey City residents will cast ballots for mayor and all nine seats on the City Council.
Election Day is Tuesday, May 14. Polls throughout the city will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Residents who need help finding their polling location can visit https://voter.njsvrs.com/PublicAccess/jsp/PollPlace/PollPlaceSearch.jsp. (Residents who recently received a sample ballot in the mail can find their polling location printed on the sample ballot as well.) People who are unsure if they are registered to vote can also visit this state website to determine their eligibility status.
On Election Day, voters will have the opportunity to select a candidate for mayor, a City Council representative for the ward in which they live, and up to three at-large City Council representatives. There are a total of 37 candidates running for these 10 seats, some who are running together on a slate, and others who are running independently.
On Tuesday’s ballot voters will not see all 37 candidates running for office, however. Voters will only see the names of the candidates for mayor, City Council at-large, and the people running for the ward in which they live.
Political aides working with the campaigns and other political observers expect that several races will not be determined on May 14 and will have to go to a run-off election in June.
City Councilman Steven Fulop heads a rival ticket that includes at-large candidates Rolando R. Lavarro Jr., Daniel Rivera, and Joyce E. Watterman. Fulop’s ward candidates include Francis “Frank” Gajewski (Ward A), Khemraj “Chico” Ramchel (Ward B), Nidia R. Lopez, (Ward C), Sean Connors (Ward D), Candice Osborne (Ward E), and Diane Coleman (Ward F).
Mayoral candidate Jeremiah “Jerry” Walker heads up a third political ticket that includes two at-large candidates, Sean M. Connelly and Ramon “Ray” Regalado. Ward candidates Ricky Johnson (Ward A), Chris Gadsden (Ward B), Adela Rohena (Ward C), Grace Giron (Ward D), and Chantel D. Snow (Ward F) are also running with Walker. Walker chose not to run a candidate in Ward E and has only two at-large candidates running with him.
Dr. Abdul J. Malik is also running for mayor. He does not have a slate of at-large or ward candidates running with him.
Jayson H. Burg and Lori Hennessey are running independently in Ward A. Esther Wintner is running independently in Ward B. Richard Boggiano is running in Ward C. Michael Yun is running independently in Ward D. In Ward E, Fletcher Gensamer is running independently there. In Ward F the field of independent candidates includes Deborah King and Kenny Reyes.
The municipal election this year does not include any public questions or ballot initiatives.
Political aides working with the Healy and Fulop campaigns and other political observers expect that several races will not be determined on May 14 and will have to go to a run-off election in June. Several poll results that have been leaked in recent weeks also indicate that run-offs are likely. To avoid a run-off and win a race on the first ballot, a candidate must get 50 percent of the vote, plus one.
E-mail E. Assata Wright at email@example.com.