Liverman and Howard Running for Re-election to Princeton Council

Heather Howard Princeton

The Chairman of the Princeton Democratic Municipal Committee, Peter Wolanin, announced today that incumbent officials Lance Liverman and Heather Howard say they are running for re-election in the June 2015 Democratic primary for Princeton Council.

Two seats for three-year terms on the council will be available.

Howard and Liverman will run independent campaigns in the primary so that they can each highlight their individual records and motivations for serving another term, Wolanin said.

“Ms. Howard and Mr. Liverman, with the mayor and other members of council, have been working very hard since consolidation with the police, and municipal agencies to help them transition into new bodies that can serve effectively all the people of Princeton,” Wolanin said.

Any other members of the community who are interested in running for the two council seats in the June 2015 Democratic primary should contact Wolanin at Petitions for the 2015 elections in New Jersey will be posted on the state’s website or about the first week of January 2015. Petitions are due in the municipal clerks office 64 days before the primary election.

The announcement comes much earlier than in previous years. The two incumbents who won seats on the council in November have not been sworn in for new terms yet.

Howard and Liverman joined forces earlier this year with Mayor Liz Lempert to back Council President Bernie Miller and former Princeton Township Committeewoman Sue Nemeth as a slate, in an effort to oust incumbent Jo Butler. Nemeth lost the Democratic primary for council to Butler by a handful of votes.


  1. Princeton residents take note: “running for re-election in the June Democratic primary” = “have announced they still like being on town council and so they will be sticking around for another term”. Do not be fooled that there is any sort of campaign process in which significant and/or controversial municipal issues will be debated and candidate positions vetted. Princeton is a Democrat-dominant town, and the PCDO can sit back comfortably unconcerned that anyone but their own people will serve in Princeton municipal government. Candidates emerge from the status quo core group of the dues-paid membership of the PCDO (those that are able to attend the in-person only voting sessions of the organization). Whoever the PCDO fields becomes our council. PCDO outsiders don’t have a chance at the Democratic primary, and Republicans, Independents or other parties don’t have a chance against the big D Democrat on any Princeton ballot. Those voting thoughtfully on the municipal level elections are just grossly outnumbered by those who come to the polls primarily motivated by the “bigger ticket” elections (and those voters tend to pull the straight Democratic line). The PCDO are good people, and I am a member and I stand solidly with the PCDO for virtually all state, county, and federal elections, but unfortunately on the municipal level the process as it is means that important voices and perspectives on critical municipal issues are washed over and there is no debate, either during campaigns or during service on council. Slight disagreements become big news stories, major disagreements are not allowed to exist. In the past decade or so, pre and post consolidation I have witnessed many issues before our council(s) and the unfortunate trend is that the citizenry really does not have a voice. In an educated and politically sophisticated town, many people take the time to not only attend council meetings but to prepare thoughtful, articulate positions on issues presented to council. However, the council is inconsistently at best responsive to the citizenry. They don’t really need to be, the current system guarantees that once you’ve made it “in” at the PCDO level, you’re in. I am a lifelong Democrat, but think that it is time for Princeton municipal elections to be non-partisan (as in our neighbor town, West Windsor, and increasingly other towns in NJ). ( I’m posting anonymously here because I am active in the PCDO and plan to continue to be and am intimated to discuss this topic within the club).

    1. Why not contest the primary yourself? If you can convince more PCDO people that your ideas are the right ones, then I’m sure they’ll select you. Even if you don’t get selected, you’ll force a discussion of whatever matters of principle you think are important. I like HHH and LL, but a ‘coronation’ is no good.

  2. Lifetime Big D Democrat has analyzed the situation with a keen eye. Whether the solutions to the problems he highlights include non-partisan elections or other structural changes –nothing will change (i.e. improve) until the voters inform themselves of the issues, understand the long term consequences of short term decisions, and insist that representatives represent all of their interests in order to get re-elected.

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