Princeton native Yina Moore defeated longtime Borough Councilman David Goldfarb in the Democratic primary race tonight by a vote of 301-219.
The turnout was lower than usual for the Democratic primary. The winner usually brings in more than 400 votes.
“We have an extraordinary slate of three women candidates for the November election,” said Democratic Councilman Kevin Wilkes after the results were in.
Newcomer Heather Howard received 449 votes in the uncontested borough council Democratic primary and incumbent Barbara Trelstad received 434 votes.
The Princeton Community Democratic Organization was able to come to a consensus on endorsing the council candidates, but did not fully endorse either mayoral candidate. A third candidate dropped out after the endorsement meeting. Goldfarb had received enough votes at the spring endorsement meeting to run in the so-called regular Democratic column. He was also backed by two council members, Jenny Crumiller and Jo Butler.
The loss means Goldfarb will no longer be an elected official come January, because he gave up running for council again in order to run for mayor.
Goldfarb has served more than 20 years as a borough councilman.He decided to run for mayor after Mayor Mildred Trotman announced early this year that she was stepping down after more than a quarter century as a local elected official.
Both Moore and Goldarb attended the PCDO’s post-primary vote tally at Conte’s Pizza last night. Goldfarb was gracious to Moore in remarks to Planet Princeton after the race, saying she campaigned better.
“She worked a lot harder than I did, and she deserves the victory,” he said. “I’ve been serving a long time and I would have been happy to serve as mayor, but the fire was not in my belly like it was in hers.”
Moore waged an aggressive campaign, knocking on doors and placing ads in local papers that not only promoted her own qualifications, but also criticized Goldfarb for what she characterized as potential conflicts of interest. Goldfarb is a legal assistant for Drinker Biddle & Reath, the law firm that represents Princeton University and has had to recuse himself on the issue of the university’s arts and transit neighborhood and the Dinky station being moved.
Goldfarb agreed the conflict of interest issue hurt his campaign, reiterating that his position at the law firm is not a problem and that officials often recuse themselves. He said last night Moore has had to recuse herself as a member of the planning board on some issues like other board members often do.
“All is fair in love, war and politics,” Goldfarb said.
He expressed his intent to finish his term, and added that while he loves serving as a public official, the loss means he will have more free time next year to pursue other things.
Moore, Princeton, a Princeton University graduate who studied planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has been a vocal supporter of keeping the Dinky station in its current location.
She learned of her victory upon walking in to Conte’s last night with her husband, and was greeted with applause and hugs by supporters.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to serve borough residents,” Moore told Planet Princeton. “”We have a lot of challenges ahead of is. I’m looking forward to working with so many of the people I got to know while campaigning.”
Moore said planning, infrastructure and revenue are the top three issues the borough needs to focus on. “Consolidation will be determined by a vote of the people,” she added.
In the heavily Democratic Borough, Moore still has the general election to win come November. She will face Republican write-in candidate Jill Jachera, a retired lawyer and YWCA board member who is also backed by some Democrats. Jachera received 73 write-in votes in the GOP mayoral primary. Several people had difficulty spelling her name, thus various versions of her name were listed for write-ins.
Republican Borough Council candidates Dudley Sipprelle and Peter Marks received 103 votes and 102 votes respectively in the uncontested GOP council primary.
In Princeton Township, the primaries were both uncontested for the township committee seats up for grabs. Democrat Bernie Miller received 373 votes and his running mate Sue Nemeth received 364 votes. They will face Republicans Mark Scheibner and Geoff Aton in the November election. Aton received 133 votes and Scheibner received 126 votes.
Consolidation will also be on the ballot in November if the governing bodies of the township and borough vote to have a referendum.