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Hannen Defeats Mease; Dems Regain Control of Committee

According to the unofficial results, Thomas Hannen Jr. defeated Republican Scott Mease by a margin of roughly 676 votes.

The balance of power on the Cranford Township Committee has once again shifted back to the Democratic party as Thomas Hannen Jr. defeated Republican Scott Mease to secure a seat on the governing body.

Hannen, who ran unsuccessfully alongside former Mayor Daniel Aschenbach last year, pulled off a victory in the Nov. 6 general election, defeated his GOP opponent by approximately 676 votes, according to the unofficial results provided by Township Clerk Tara Rowley.

"This was a team effort put together by a lot of great people. I look forward to getting to work as soon as possible," Hannen said when the results were announced. "There are a lot of people looking to keep Cranford moving forward so I would like to be a catalyst for that."

Currently, the governing body is made up of three Republicans — Mayor David Robinson, whose term expires this year, but who chose not to seek re-election — and GOP Commissioners Andis Kalnins and Lisa Adubato, as well as two Democrats — Edward O'Malley and Kevin Campbell. When Hannen takes office in January, the Democrats will control three of the five seats on the dias.

Hannen has been involved in the Flood Advisory Committee as well as several other township organizations. He has been involved in politics for several years. He spent 12 years as a councilman in Winfield, four of them as the mayor.

Hannen said the township needs to further explore the possibilities of shared services with other towns to offset some costs and streamline the workings of the township. He will also continue to join the opposition against development in the Birchwood Avenue flood zone.

Cranford residents also favored a Democrat in the NJ Sentae race, casting the majority of their votes for Sen. Robert Menendez over Republican Joe Kyrillos. In the presidential race, Cranford voters narrowly approved President Barack Obama. In the race for the 7th Congressional District, residents showed support for Incumbent Rep. Leonard Lance.

In the race for the three open seats on the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, however, Cranford voters favored the Republicans, casting the majority of their votes for Diane Barabas of Westfield; Stephen Kozlovich of Union; Krzysztof Chris T. Nowak of Cranford.

In addition to the general election, township voters were also asked to cast voted for members of the Board of Education. The race for the school board was uncontested with three, three-year seats and one, one-year seat open on the
board. The four incumbents on the ballot included Catherine Morgese, Mary Venditti and Camille Widdows for the three-year term and one incumbent, Jill Brown, running for the one-year term. No other candidates filed petitions with the County Clerk for the election.

The following list represents the votes cast by Cranford resients in the general election, which saw a 69.7 percent voter turnout:

TOWNSHIP COMMITTEE

Thomas Hannen Jr. — 5,327

Scott Mease — 4,648

BOARD OF EDUCATION (Uncontested)

Mary Venditti — 4,977

Camille Widdows — 4,121

Catherine Morgese — 3,816

Jill Brown — 4,520

UNION COUNTY BOARD OF CHOSEN FREEHOLDERS

Alexander Mirabella — 4,409      

Mohamed S. Jalloh — 3,938       

Bruce H. Bergen — 4,301        

Diane Barabas — 5,200      

Stephen Kozlovich — 5,249     

Krzysztof Chris T. Nowa — 5,004    

N.J. SENATE

Joe Kyrillos — 4,762

Robert Menendez — 5,044

7th CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Upendra Chivukula — 4,208

Leonard Lance — 5,438

PRESIDENTIAL RACE

Pres. Barack Obama — 5,567

Mitt Romney — 5,280

Pcisme77 November 07, 2012 at 03:27 AM
Hooray for Mr. Hannen! I am proud to say that I voted for him!!! Looks like Sandy turned out being the Mayor's Katrina and the Mayor ends up being the poor man's W! Good for you Mr. Hannen and for us in continuing to try and coming out a winner!! Well done. I look forward to seeing the Dems run this town.
Pcisme77 November 07, 2012 at 03:29 AM
Also....it is great to see that President Obama won in Cranford! With the power back on (for now) today, it was a good day for Cranford! Yay Cranford!!!
Kathleen G November 09, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Thank God for a republican congress
Darryl November 12, 2012 at 03:01 PM
Good luck Tom! If you haven't met him, he is such a great guy. He absolutely loves Cranford and I bet will do a ton of good for the town. I don't live in Cranford but I wish we had a candidate like Tom in my town!

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