Final vote totals show a new finish for three candidates hoping to make the City Council runoff election on Dec. 18.
Vote totals as released Monday by the Cumberland County Clerk’s Office show Maritza Gonzalez and Angela Calakos finished 9th and 10th, respectively.
Those vote tallies drop another candidate — Carlos Villar — into 11th place and out of the runoff election.
A City Council runoff is held when no two candidates get more than 50 percent of the vote. Residents then get to pick five City Council members from the 10 candidates who received the most votes.
The final count of voting machine, mail-in and provisional ballots show the top-10 vote-getters to be Mayra Arroyo with 7,482 votes, Maria Laboy with 7,293; Peter Coccaro, 7,043; Nelson Thompson, 6,166; Antonio Romero, 6,037; Anthony Fanucci, 5,066; Paul Spinelli, 4,681; John Procopio, 4,670;, Gonzalez, 4,188; and Calakos with 4,160. Villar finished 11th with 4,104 votes.
The final vote totals did not change the order of finish in the city’s mayoral race.
The tallies give incumbent Robert Romano 8,506 votes, former City Council member Ruben Bermudez 5,503 votes, former Mayor Perry Barse 4,668, City Councilman Douglas Albrecht 2,380 and David Mazur 262.
Romano and Bermudez will now run in the Dec. 18 mayoral runoff election. That election is held when no mayoral candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote. Vote tallies from the County Clerk’s Office show Romano came closest that figure, garnering almost 40 percent of the ballots cast.
City Clerk Keith Petrosky will select the mayoral and City Council ballot positions today.
The vote totals released Monday are final but not yet certified by the County Clerk’s Office. That must be done by today, which is the deadline set by the state Division of Elections. The certification will not change the vote totals.
The final vote tallies show that Romano will run with his complete City Council slate of Arroyo, Laboy, Coccaro, Thompson and Romero. Romano and his City Council candidates ran under the “Proven Progress” slogan. Arroyo and Coccaro are incumbents who ran on Romano’s City Council ticket four years ago.
The City Council ballot will see a mix of candidates from different tickets.
Fanucci, Spinelli and Calakos ran on Barse’s “Vineland Taxpayers First” slate. Procopio and Gonzalez ran on Bermudez’s “Moving Forward … Together” slate.
The city has non-partisan elections, meaning candidates do not run under the banner of organized political parties, such as Democrat or Republican.
The city’s mayoral and City Council elections previously had been held in May. But City Council opted to, beginning this year, move the contests to November to increase voter turnout and reduce overall election costs.
The runoffs here were originally to be held on Dec. 4. However, problems caused by Hurricane Sandy and a large numbers of vote-by-mail and provisional ballots caused election officials throughout the state to need more time to court all the ballots.
State election officials last week allowed Cumberland County officials more time to count and certify the balloting results. Cumberland County was one of 14 counties to get more time.
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