VINELAND — There will be no shortage of local candidates for whom residents can cast their ballots in November.
Seven mayoral candidates filed nominating petitions with the City Clerk’s Office as of Friday.
Also by that day, 18 residents filed their nominating petitions in the race for five City Council seats.
All mayoral and council nominating petitions must be filed with the clerk by 4 p.m. Tuesday. The clerk’s office has until Thursday to determine whether those petitions are sufficient.
The number of candidates increases the possibility that the final selection of a mayor and City Council members will occur via a runoff election. Council left that option in place when they opted to move the nonpartisan election from May to November this year.
Council members said they opted to change the election date to save the city about $80,000 by not holding two elections. They also said the move might increase voter turnout by holding the election on the same day as the country picks a president. Voter turnout generally increases in presidential election years.
The seven people who filed nominating petitions for mayor include incumbent Robert Romano, former mayor Perry Barse, Councilman Douglas Albrecht, former Councilman Ruben Bermudez and local residents Constantino Rozzo, David Mazur and Sean Kashani.
The mayoral candidate list includes several men with links to past elections:
- Albrecht ran on Romano’s successful City Council ticket in 2008.
- Romano ousted Barse as mayor in 2008.
- Barse defeated Bermudez for mayor in 2004.
Those seeking seats on council do so either on a ticket with other candidates or individually. Incumbent council members Peter Coccaro, Mayra Arroyo and Louis Cresci all turned in nominating petitions, according to the clerk’s office. The others who filed are Edwin Cintron, Delfin Cuevas, Terra Dower, Anthony Fanucci, Maritza Gonzalez, Angela Kalakos, Maria Laboy, Steve Plevins, John Procopio, Gina Randazzo-Thompson, Diamaris Rios, Antonio Romero, Paul Spinelli, Nelson Thompson, and Carlos Villar.
The city holds runoff elections when:
- No mayoral candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote. A mayor is then selected from the top two vote-getters.
- No two council candidates get more than 50 percent of the vote. Residents then pick five council members from the top 10 vote-getters.
Runoff elections for mayor were last held in 2000 and 1996.
There were five mayoral candidates in 2000, with Barse eventually defeating Anthony Campanella in the runoff election. Four candidates ran for mayor in 1996, with the runoff featuring a Campanella victory over Marianne Kornbluh-Lods.
Contact Thomas Barlas: