With 19 out of 21 precincts reporting, Maplewood Township Committee candidate Deborah Engel leads Kurt Kiley in the Democratic primary by a more than 5 to 1 margin, with 84 percent of the vote.
“I am so thankful to the people of Maplewood for having the faith in me to lead our great town,” Engel said. “I am thrilled to be on the ballot next to Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill in November and look forward to bringing out the Democratic vote for us moms and women with vision! I also look forward to being on the ballot with Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., who served Essex County so well during the pandemic.”
The unofficial results from the Essex County Clerk’s Office as of Tuesday night showed Engel with 1,234 votes and Kiley with 231. UPDATE: As of Wednesday morning, June 8, the Clerk’s Office reported 1,798 votes for Engel and 327 for Kiley, with 90.91% of districts reporting.
Vote by mail totals were 538 for Engel and 102 for Kiley.
In a pilot ballot reform program this year, the Maplewood Democratic Committee vetted and endorsed both candidates, but only one — Engel — will move on to the November 8 general election. No Republicans filed to run this year, nor has any Republican sought election to the Maplewood Township Committee since 2017.
Read more about the primary here.
Also on the ballot were primaries for the New Jersey Congressional District 11. Maplewood and South Orange were redistricted in the 11th district following the 2020 U.S. Census; the towns were formerly a part of district 10. Also on the ballot was the seat for the Essex County Executive.
Read the press release from the Engel campaign here:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 7, 2022
ENGEL WINS BIG
MAPLEWOOD, N.J. _ Small business owner, mom of three, community volunteer and lifetime Democrat Deborah Engel won a decisive victory Tuesday for the Democratic nomination for the Maplewood Township Committee.
Tuesday’s primary victory means that Engel will appear on the ballot in the General Election this Fall. No Republicans or Independents have filed to run for the seat.
With 19 out of 21 precincts reporting as of 10 p.m., Engel led with 84 percent of the vote. She had 1,234 votes to 231 votes for her opponent, according to unofficial poll numbers. Vote by mail totals were 538 for Engel and 102 for her opponent, according to the Essex County Clerk’s office.
“I am so thankful to the people of Maplewood for having the faith in me to lead our great town,” Engel said. “I am thrilled to be on the ballot next to Congressman Mikie Sherrill in November and look forward to bringing out the Democratic vote for us moms and women with vision! I also look forward to being on the ballot with Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., who served Essex County so well during the pandemic.”
The Maplewood Township Committee race was the only contested local race on the ballot, which featured two candidates on the same line, per recent reforms from the Maplewood Democratic Committee that were intended to encourage competition and voter engagement.
“Debating the issues is good for everyone,” Engel said. “It’s good for the candidates to listen and hear from our residents about the issues affecting them. It’s good for the Township to enable thoughtful debate and decision-making. Political competition puts the power in the hands of the people, where it should always reside.”
Both Engel and her opponent were interviewed and endorsed by the MDC.
Engel was also endorsed by all five members of the current Maplewood Township Committee: Maplewood Mayor Dean Dafis, Maplewood Deputy Mayor Vic De Luca, Committeeman Frank McGehee, Committeewoman Nancy Adams and Committeewoman Jamaine Cripe.
Engel was endorsed by former Maplewood Mayor Ellen Davenport, the town’s only female mayor. De Luca and McGehee are also former Maplewood mayors. She was also endorsed by former Township Committee members Kathy Leventhal, Greg Lembrich and David Huemer.
Additionally, Engel was endorsed by South Orange Village President Sheena Collum and South Orange Board of Trustees Bill Haskins, Summer Jones, Bob Zuckerman and Karen Hilton.
She was also endorsed by numerous Maplewood businesses.
Engel, who has lived in Maplewood for 13 years with her husband and their three young daughters, is herself a local businesswoman. Engel is a co-founder and co-owner of The General Store Cooperative on Springfield Avenue and the former owner of Work and Play in South Orange.
Engel is a listener, an independent thinker and someone who gets things done. She looks forward to being able to use her skills to continue to make Maplewood a wonderful place for all ages to live, especially for working families on a budget.
“I am excited to represent families with young children. It is extremely important to have all voices represented in local government and this segment has been missing. At the same time, I want to make sure that our town is affordable for all ages and that our programming is inclusive and accessible,” Engel said.
With a November win, Engel would be the only member of the Township Committee to have grade-school-age children. She also would deliver the first ever female-majority to the five-member Maplewood Township Committee.
“I want to thank my incredible campaign team for all of your hard work. Erin Scherzer and Malia Herman, my dear friends and co-campaign managers, Vic De Luca, my campaign treasurer, Mayor Dean Dafis for your valuable insight, and Kerstin Diehn, for your work on my lawn signs and campaign literature,” Engel said. “Plus, thank you to my many friends and neighbors who have helped with signs, endorsements, get out the vote efforts and so much more!”
“Of course my biggest thanks goes to my family. Thank you Matt, Josie, Marley and Cora for your love, understanding and support. I could not have done this without you. (Now off to bed!)”