VINELAND — Voters here will cast their ballots Tuesday in a pair of runoff elections that will determine who runs the municipal government for the next four years.
In the mayoral runoff election, incumbent Robert Romano faces a challenge by former City Council member Ruben Bermudez.
The City Council runoff election features the 10 candidates who received the most votes during the Nov. 6 general election. Voters will choose five City Council members from a field that includes Mayra Arroyo, Maria Laboy, Peter Coccaro, Nelson Thompson, Antonio Romero, John Procopio, Maritza Gonzalez, Anthony Fanucci, Paul Spinelli and Angela Calakos.
Arroyo, Laboy, Coccaro, Thompson and Romero are running as part of Romano’s “Proven Progress” slate. Arroyo and Coccaro are incumbents, and both ran with Romano four years ago.
Bermudez leads the “Team Bermudez” ticket. That slate is composed of Procopio and Gonzalez, who ran under Bermudez’s “Moving Forward … Together” slate during the Dec. 6 balloting. Also on the Bermudez ticket are Fanucci, Spinelli and Calakos, who ran Dec. 6 under the “Vineland Taxpayers First” slate led by former Mayor Perry Barse. Procopio, Gonzalez, Fanucci, Spinelli and Calakos joined together shortly after the Nov. 6 general election results were final.
The city’s 38 polling places will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
This was the first year that the city’s nonpartisan elections — in which candidates do not run under the banner of organized political parties — was moved from May to November. The move saved the city between $80,000 and $100,000.
However, City Council members opted not to scrap the runoff election procedure, despite admitting that voter turnout drops significantly for runoff elections.
A mayoral runoff contest is held when no mayoral candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote during the initial election. Voters then pick a mayor from the top two finishers.
A City Council runoff election is held when no two candidates get more than 50 percent of the vote during the initial election. Local voters then pick five City Council members from the 10 candidates who received the most votes.
The Nov. 6 election featured five mayoral candidates and 18 City Council hopefuls. Mayoral runoff elections were last held here in 2000 and 1996.
The 2000 mayoral election featured five candidates. Barse eventually defeated Anthony Campanella.
Voters had four mayoral candidates from which to choose in 1996. The subsequent runoff election saw Campanella defeat Marianne Kornbluh-Lods.
Contact Thomas Barlas: