WEST WILDWOOD - Commissioner Scott Golden will keep his seat on borough commission after surviving Tuesday's recall election.
About 67 percent of the town's voters cast ballots Tuesday in the recall election, with 156 voting for Golden's recall and 164 voting against it.
Voters were also able to vote for the person they wanted to hold the seat if the recall had been successful, and Golden also came out on top with 161 votes to challenger Louis Sottnick's 156 votes.
Golden, 38, was first elected to the three-member commission in 2008, taking office with Mayor Herbert Frederick and Commissioner Gerard McNamara. They are all up for re-election in 2012.
Sottnick, 69, a retired Teamster and truck driver, was making his first run for elected office.
Speaking after Tuesday's vote totals were in, Golden said he hoped to continue to do the job the people elected him to do.
"The people have spoken," Golden said, adding, "I hope the community can come together. My door is open to anyone, and I'll listen to their ideas."
Golden blamed Frederick and McNamara for much of the troubles that have sharply divided the small bayfront community. As of Tuesday's election, there were just 482 registered voters here.
Golden has often been at odds with the other two commissioners, but he said Tuesday, "I'm hoping they'll accept some of my ideas."
The votes were split as they were in the town's Dec. 7 recall election, in which voters were asked if they wanted to keep Frederick and McNamara in office. Frederick and McNamara, like Golden, avoided recall, but that election is the subject of a legal challenge.
Meanwhile, there were some voter challenges at the polls Tuesday at Borough Hall, with at least one case being heard by the Board of Elections and eventually Superior Court Judge Kyran Connor.
In that case, Connor ruled that West Wildwood resident Paul Busch, 54, could not vote Tuesday because the signature on his voter registration form did not match the signature he provided when he tried to vote Tuesday.
Busch said he had someone else complete his voter registration form.
"He never signed the form until today, Election Day," Connor said, explaining allowing him to vote would be the equivalent of allowing same-day voter registration.
Registrar Michael Kennedy said Busch's ballot is among the seven votes Superior Court Judge Valerie Armstrong is being asked to include in the Dec. 7 recall election results.
One of the candidates, former Mayor Christopher Fox, is challenging that election's result and wants the judge to count seven votes that were not opened for various reasons that day.
As of the most recent count, voters cast 171 votes for Frederick's recall and 177 against his recall. Voters also cast 174 votes in favor of McNamara's recall and 176 against his recall.
Armstrong will hear the case Jan. 20 in Cape May County.
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