But in Criscione's eyes, nothing was more rewarding than last Tuesday's victory in the Guttenberg municipal council election - a vote that drew more than 60 percent of Guttenberg's registered voters to their respective polling booths.
True, there was a highly heated and competitive presidential election that might have lured Guttenberg's voters to the booths in record proportions.
But that didn't deter Criscione from believing that his victory was a sign of approval from the town's voters.
"It's such a good feeling and such a sense of accomplishment," said Criscione, who was first appointed to replace Tom Barnes on the council last April, when Barnes moved out of Guttenberg. "I think this is a tremendous vote of confidence for everyone on Mayor [David] Delle Donna's ticket. I had a feeling we would win, but I never thought it would be by such a wide margin."
Incumbent councilwoman Jennifer Credidio earned her second two-year term on the five-member council by collecting 1,742 votes (32.8 percent). Credidio, a lawyer, was the former chairwoman of the town's Planning/Zoning Board. Criscione, Credidio's running mate on the Democratic ticket, collected 1,716 votes (32.3 percent), with Republican candidates Johanna Delgado (955 votes, 18 percent) and Vasilios "Bill" Scoullos (892 votes, 16.8 percent) trailing.
"It really was a true vote of confidence, not just for me, but for Jennifer as well," Criscione said. "I have to make sure that we continue the work that we didn't finish. The people came out and voted, even those who aren't normally excited about voting. They came out to vote and it was great to see them come out."
Credidio was also pleased with the turnout and the results.
"It's really been a pleasure for me to serve the community where I was born and raised," Credidio said. "I'm grateful to the people of Guttenberg who have put their trust in me and allowed me the opportunity to continue to serve. I think this shows that the people of Guttenberg are pleased with what we've been doing, and I hope to work on other things in the future, like getting Guttenberg its first-ever public park. I think they realize that we've been working hard for them, and that's why they came out and supported us."
Delle Donna was joyous that his running mates once again emerged victorious and in a commanding fashion, by a 2-to-1 margin. Usually, election results can get hairy and pretentious in a small town like Guttenberg, but since Delle Donna was first elected as a councilman six years ago and then a mayor two years later, the results have been relatively one-sided.
"For us to get a 60 percent turnout is incredible," Delle Donna said. "I'd like to see that kind of interest in every election. We took two out of every three votes, and I think that's becoming a habit in our elections. To get those numbers, the people are seeing how we work for them and the things we do, both in office and around the town. It's nice to see Jennifer and Frank get rewarded for their service to the town. They were the best candidates and put the most time into it. I'm really ecstatic that so many people turned out."
Criscione said that the victory was "one of the greatest things that has ever happened to me."
"I really feel like we were part of history, being on the same ballot with a presidential candidate," Criscione said. "Essentially, this is small town politics at its finest, the essence of what America is all about. When we got the results, I had to take a step back and take a moment to contemplate what had happened. It was amazing all these people voted for me. It really is amazing."
Credidio and Criscione will be officially sworn into office for another term on Jan. 1, 2005. A ceremonial swearing in will take a week later at the regularly scheduled town council meeting.