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Moorestown Splits Vote in Tight Town Council Race

Republicans Phil Garwood and Victoria Napolitano, along with Democrat Greg Newcomer, were elected to township council in a race where the candidates were separated by the slimmest of margins.

Moorestown split its vote for town council, electing two Republicans and one Democrat in a tightly contested race.

Republicans Victoria Napolitano and Phil Garwood scored 4,920 and 4,818 votes respectively, with Democrat Greg Newcomer coming in third with 4,754 votes. Only 49 votes—not including absentee ballots—separated Newcomer and GOP candidate Pete Palko. A Republican source said Newcomer’s advantage was reduced to 13 votes with the absentee ballots counted—and that didn’t include the provisional ballots.

Republican campaign manager Steve Solomon said county GOP representatives were advising him not to concede the race Tuesday night. He was told there were “hundreds” of provisionals yet to be counted, which won’t be tallied until 10 days from the election.

Napolitano and Garwood expressed gratitude for the support Moorestown voters showed them.

"I am overwhelmed by the faith that Moorestown has shown in me,” said the 24-year-old Napolitano, who had never before run for public office. “I really did not expect to be the high vote-getter and to have so many people put their faith in me is really, really humbling."

Garwood was somewhat nostalgic about his time on the campaign trail, saying, “One of the great things was meeting Moorestown … I know it sounds hokey, but that’s what it was.

"I am just humbly appreciative of all the support that I've gotten through this whole thing," he added.

Newcomer was reserved in his reaction to the election results, given the slim margin of victory/defeat and the number of absentee and provisional ballots. There were 1,416 absentee ballots—an unusually high number, according to one township election official.

“The 1,400 absentee ballots are significant and the people will continue to speak,” said Newcomer. “I am an optimist. The glass is always half full for me. I have hope that (the ballots) will swing the whole election.”

Even if the uncounted ballots don’t alter the final result, Newcomer said he’s ready and willing to work with his Republican council mates.

“I am a collaborative person. I’ve worked with Independents, Republicans and Democrats for years,” he said. “I will work very hard to honor the fact that (the people) have given me their vote.”

Napolitano and Garwood were equally eager to put the campaign behind them and get down to business.  

"Tomorrow I’m taking the day off,” Napolitano said, following a campaign season in which she and her running mates knocked on more than 4,000 doors. “We do have a lot to do. I plan on getting in touch with our township manager, just get all the information I possibly can. We've done a lot of that so far. We plan to make sure we're ready to go when inauguration comes.”

Garwood said he was taking a wait-and-see approach, but was hopeful Palko would join them on council once all the ballots were counted.

Democratic candidate Mark Hines, who received 4,332 votes, admitted he wasn’t terribly confident the uncounted ballots would swing in his party’s favor, but said, “We ran to win and the results validate that. We had a strong message and we feel success in that.”

Hines won’t run again—it's too time-consuming and draining—and said he’d like to see changes to Moorestown's party system to encourage qualified residents to run for council.

"The partisan politics makes it too hard, and I've been saying that for a long time. We need nonpartisan elections because partisan elections make it too difficult to get people to run,” he said.

Brian Sattinger,who ran alongside Hines and Newcomer, earned 4,377 votes.

All results are unofficial until the absentee and provisional ballots are counted. Assuming the results hold, Napolitano, Garwood and Newcomer will replace Mayor John Button and councilmen Greg Gallo and Mike Testa. They will join Republican councilmembers Chris Chiacchio and Stacey Jordan.

American Woman November 07, 2012 at 10:19 PM
"Stupidity", you are an ignorant jerk!!! You probably couldn't shine any of these candidates shoes!!! I agree with Amy Tozzi, spill the beans "BOE"...... If this person is an elected official, tell us who they are so we can take them out!!!
Rob Scott (Editor) November 07, 2012 at 10:39 PM
To everyone responding to the user named "The Stupidity of Moorestown Voters," I have to ask one question: Why? Reacting to his/her comments with such fervor just fuels the fire and motivates people like "Stupidity" to continue trolling and anonymously stirring the pot. My advice: ignore them.
Most Interesting Man in MTown November 07, 2012 at 11:05 PM
I don't always double down on failure, but when I do....I vote for Obama. Stay jobless, my friends....
Voice of Reason November 08, 2012 at 02:19 AM
You have to be kidding, Mr. Scott. Stupidity is the ONLY one who actually gets it!!! How can you admit to be that naive???
Kitchen Table November 08, 2012 at 03:30 AM
As a clarification to "stupidity".. College? We moorestonians voted in two city councilpersons that did not have a college degree, correct? Like I should know that! Ok then, what qualifications do you really need then for town council ? How about a Coach? Librarian? Roofer? Lawyer? Civil engineer? Chemical engineer? Financial analyst with an MBA ? Homemaker? Healthcare worker? Former teacher? In your mind would any of these qualify for a seat on council? I think the answer has been/could be yes, right?
Budget Hawk November 08, 2012 at 12:19 PM
I think Napolitano and Garwood will be great for our town's finances. I will reserve judgement on Newcomer.
Our Town November 08, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Aww c'mon Rob. It's the internet and it's all fun, even the trolls.
Chris Welch November 08, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Love this guy. Good for a laugh with every post.
HomeBrew November 08, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Moorestown's unofficial (not including count of absentee and provisional ballots) 2012 General Election results here: http://www.moorestown.nj.us/filestorage/207/243/245/2254/448/ELECTION_TALLY_SHEET_GENERAL_2012_FINAL.pdf
Haupteintopfgericht November 08, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Is someone bucking for Rob Scott's job?
Haupteintopfgericht November 08, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Does this show that Ms. Napalitano failed to win her home district?
Red Alert November 08, 2012 at 05:30 PM
It shows that she won the town with the most votes.
Patricia O'Brien November 08, 2012 at 06:20 PM
to the above, I can tell you that Brandon Pugh is an excellent choice, an incredible young man who will work hard and brings a fresh, knowing perspective to the board. Employment and education do not promise greatness; I know many highly educated and well employed people who are anything but. Why not give these guys a chance before you judge?
Stew an Main November 08, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Cut the nonsense, not liking this German stew. You spew venom around including at the candidates. Doesn't look good what you are doing.
Code Blue November 08, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Was zum Kuckuck is the deal with all of these german names anyways? I am just glad the Blue team won this year! Way to go Greg, Dave, Dr. Sawin, Brandon, Amy, Joanne, Bob and Obama!
Dienstag November 08, 2012 at 07:33 PM
You are aware that Brandon Pugh is a registered Republican, member of the Republican club, and worked for Chris Christie's administration.... right?
Code Blue November 08, 2012 at 08:02 PM
Which is it he was supported by the teachers union or worked for anti teacher Christie? How about Mr. Schneidberg, was he also a member of the Republican Club and lost? It was a blue day Tuesday all around
Most Interesting Man in MTown November 08, 2012 at 08:16 PM
Stew....were you one of the Germans who bombed Pear Harbor?
Coach November 09, 2012 at 01:53 PM
Any word on when town council will have their re-org meeting in January?
Ok! November 09, 2012 at 09:30 PM
Well we first need to see who officially won the third "empty chair" right? Will there be a party if palko wins with the remaining ballots not yet counted? We are still omega edge of our seats. Does the head chair know when these ballots will be counted?
Source November 09, 2012 at 09:49 PM
Ballots will be counted by November 19th according to the Burlington County Times: http://www.phillyburbs.com/news/local/burlington_county_times_news/election-count-continues-in-moorestown/article_8fb36405-547a-5275-8429-12d1a9a1b16d.html
Donnerstag November 10, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Look folks, let's be perfectly honest here. The three republican candidates worked their hardest to earn seats on town council. Plaudits to the two winners thus far. We should also thank the three out going councilmen for their four years of service to our town. As I and others know, January will bring in a new Mayor. It is what it is, best regards!
Frog November 12, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Ditto to Donnerstag! Congrats to Victoria and mr Garwood.
Inside Scoop November 13, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Boo! Don't appreciate the reality of a Paulsen run town. Truth hurts dosen't it!
Doubling down November 17, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Yo scooper, who said he has play here? Speaking of scoops, does anyone have the inside on the Greg vs Pete contest for that third seat? Who's winning or won? Who is going to be our next mayor?
FFD November 17, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Hey Greg, do you have any inside scoop on the final tally? We didn't know if you would be willing to share the news with the grounds crew! We need more chairs in the tot lot.
Abc123 November 19, 2012 at 01:19 AM
Any updates on the election? Who won the third seat? Does mr newcomer or mr palko know ? All I hear is crickets on the final result . Is there going to be a recount? Do the papers have an answer ? What's going on here? Will there be an answers at town council meeting, is that where we have to get it?
Watcher November 19, 2012 at 12:48 PM
Have no idea who won? Wonder what Greg and Pete feel going through this long wait and see.
Don Don's November 19, 2012 at 11:33 PM
Who won?? I thought they said the final results of who one the other council seat was to be today the 19th? Could someone step forward and announce it. Did Pete palko win or not? Is it up for a recount? Does anyone have answers? Were going nuts over here.
Mr. Ed November 19, 2012 at 11:43 PM
mr newcomer won on election night and still won and we hear the republicans are already lawyering up with g paulsen's firm for a legal challenge sour grapes style

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