Democrat Michael Clark was declared the winner for Middle Township committee. First District elections in Cape May County. Tuesday Nov 05, 2013. (Dale Gerhard/Press of Atlantic City)

Democrats will continue to have a voice in Middle Township government, as newcomer Michael Clark won a seat Tuesday on a township committee on which the other two seats are held by Republicans. Clark said his win was important because it will help maintain a balance of ideas.

“I just think it’s important to have a balance on township committee and I think it’s fantastic we held a Democratic seat,” he said.

Clark won the seat with 2,494 votes. Republican nominee Melanie Collins had 2,057. Vote totals are unofficial and do not include absentee ballots.

When he takes office in January, Clark will fill the seat vacated by Democrat Susan DeLanzo. He joins Republicans Mayor Dan Lockwood and Deputy Mayor Tim Donohue.

Clark is the manager of the Cape May branch of Sturdy Savings Bank. He has been a member of the Cape May Courthouse Volunteer Fire Company for 19 years, spending 15 of them as president.

Clark has spent eight years with the branch, and said in that time he’s doubled its size. He says his proven experience in finance should translate to his new role on township committee.

“I’m really looking forward to bringing that experience to Middle Township, and I hope it serves everyone well,” he said.

As a newcomer to politics, Clark said he’s hopeful he can provide a fresh perspective.

“I hope I’m just bringing a new, fresh look,” he said. “I’m looking to work hard regardless of what party people belong to, whether Republican, Democrat or independent. I’m looking to do what’s best for all residents of Middle Township.”

In Lower Township, Republican Erik Simonsen won the open Ward 3 Council seat with 1,290 votes. Independent Glenn Douglass was second with 455 votes. Thomas Will was third with 256, and George Doherty was a distant fourth with 38.

Simonsen will serve out the remainder of Douglass’ one-year unexpired term. Douglass resigned from his seat in September after he found out he must in order to collect his state pension after retiring from the New Jersey Department of Corrections. His seat has been held by North Cape May resident Jackie Henderson since his resignation.

Simonsen is a former 2nd Ward who resigned his seat in 2011 when he moved to a house in the 3rd ward. He joins Mayor Michael Beck, Norris Clark, Thomas Conrad and James Neville. All are Republicans save Beck, who is an independent.

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