VINELAND — City residents will vote again to elect a mayor and new City Council, as none of the candidates running on Tuesday garnered enough votes to settle the two contests.
But the runoff elections scheduled for Dec. 4 will at least feature fewer candidates than the five mayoral and 18 City Council hopefuls who ran Tuesday.
Results from the city’s voting machines show the mayoral runoff will be a battle between incumbent Robert Romano and former City Council membber Ruben Bermudez. They were the top two vote-getters for the city’s chief executive post. Voting machine tallies available at the City Clerk’s Office showed that 7,748 residents cast ballots for Romano, while 4,897 backed Bermudez.
Romano said leading the mayoral field with almost 41 percent of the vote was “gratifying,” adding that he will continue to run hard for a second term.
“I’m going to continue running my campaign, staying positive and we’ll see what the other candidate is going to do,” Romano said.
Romano said it is a “shame” that the city has to go through a runoff election, calling it a “waste of time and money.”
“What are you going to do?” he said.
Bermudez could not be reached for comment.
As for the other mayoral candidates, the voting machine tallies show residents cast 4,101 votes for former Mayor Perry Barse, 2,146 votes for City Councilman Douglas Albrecht and 245 for David Mazur.
Mayoral runoff elections are held when no mayoral candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote. City law than allows residents to pick a mayor from the top two vote-getters.
Mayoral runoff elections were last held here in 2000 and 1996.
Since no two City Council candidates received more than 50 percent of the vote on Tuesday, residents will now pick from the top 10 vote-getters for the local legislative panel.
Results from the city’s voting machines show the top 10 are Mayra Arroyo with 6,779 votes, Peter Coccaro with 6,422 votes, Maria Laboy with 6,559 votes, Antonio Romero with 5,637 votes, Nelson Thompson with 5,684, Paul Spinelli with 4.001 votes, Anthon Fanucci with 4,394 votes, Carlos Villar with 3,636 votes, John Procopio with 4,122 votes and Maritza Gonzalez with 3,712 votes.
The rest of the council field includes Delfin Cuevas, Gina Randazzo-Thompson, Diamaris Rios, Terra Dower, Edwin Cintron, Louis Cresci, Angela Calakos and Stephen I. Plevin.
Romano ran on the “Proven Progress” slogan with Arroyo, Coccaro, Laboy, Romero and Thompson. Coccaro and Arroyo are incumbent City Council members.
Barse’s “Vineland Taxpayers First” slate including Calakos, Spinelli, Rios, Fanucci and Valar.
The “Moving Forward … Together” slate included Bermudez, Cintron, Gonzalez, Dower and Procopio.
Albrechts’ “For the People, With the People” ticket was the smallest, and included Cuevas and Randazzo-Thompson.
Mazur, Cresci, an incumbent City Council member, and Plevins did not run on any tickets.
Municipal elections here are nonpartisan, meaning candidates do not run under the banner of organized parties, such as Democrat or Republican.
Nonpartisan elections are usually held in May, but city officials moved them to November to reduce election-related costs and increase voter turnout.
City Council left the runoff system in place when it opted to move the election from May to November.
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