Low Turnout in Princeton for Uncontested Primary Races

election-2015Only six percent of registered Democrats turned out Tuesday to vote in primary races. All of the races were uncontested.

In Princeton, 9,172 residents are registered as Democrats.

State Assembly candidate Andrew Zwicker received 564 votes and Maureen Vella received 521 votes in the Democratic primary for Assembly.

Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes, who is seeking a fourth term, received 562 votes in the Democratic primary.

County Clerk Paula Sallami Covello, who is running for re-election, received 551 votes.

In the Mercer County Freeholder Democratic primary, Ann Cannon received 545 votes, Pat Colavita received 536 votes, and  Sam Frisby received 540 votes.

In the uncontested Princeton Council Democratic primary, Heather Howard received 557 votes and Lance Liverman received 546 votes.

About seven percent of registered Republicans turned out for the GOP primary.

In Princeton, 2,097 residents are registered as Republicans.

State Assembly candidate Jack Ciattarelli received 131 votes in the Republican primary for Assembly and his runningmate, Donna Simon, received 127 votes.

County executive candidate Lisa Richford received 131 votes in the Republican primary.

County clerk Republican candidate Susan Bagley received 132 votes.

In the Mercer County Freeholder Republican primary, Tony David received 127 votes, Ira Marks received124 votes, and Jason Lee DeFrancesco received 124 votes.

In the Republican primary for Princeton Council, Lynn Irving received 142 votes and Kelly DiTosto received 136 votes.


  1. I would be great to see a robust independent candidate for council appear! I’m a life long big D Democrat, but at the local level it would be healthy to shake up the Dem lock hold on our town. Need some new and brave faces on council!

    1. Non-thinking locals just keep voting Democrat and then complain about high taxes.

  2. I think there should have been competition for the primary, but…
    (1) Lance and Heather are likeable incumbents, who would always be very hard to beat.
    (2) Last year, Sue Nemeth contested the Dem primary and all hell broke loose. Commenters on here tore her apart, it was like ‘Lord of the Flies’. I’m not surprised that there are few candidates who want to put themselves forward after that.
    (3) If you win, you get to go to hundreds of long meetings for an annual salary of something like $9,000. You’d have to be borderline-crazy to want to do that.

    1. For awhile, Princeton was a two-party town. Two groups of Democrats …

    2. Hell broke loose because the “clique” didn’t like to be questioned and Jo Butler doesn’t sign her name without doing her homework, and ask as many questions as she wants and that annoyed the “clique” so they decided to run as a slate, Bernie and Sue, to unseat Jo. That was the problem. I, myself, like my council member to check, to question, to care, and not just to follow the “clique”. I like Heather, I think she is brilliant, so is Bernie; but I did not like how they sided with the mayor and now when there is a tie, the final result lean to what Bernie, Heather, and Lance vote for, because the mayor votes like them. What is needed is new people, dems or GOP, but new, fresh, with minds of their own, like Bloomberg in NY or Dick Woodbridge in town. I would vote, hands down, for them.

  3. Princeton should have the councilpeople represent individual districts. The current system insures that good people, but all with a similar outlook, are elected. The council needs more diversity in opinions.

    A debate on the issues would also be good. Last year’s primary was nasty, but at least there was a discussion about finances, affordability, and development. Will we have that this year? I hope so since 2 republicans are on the ballot in the fall. I hope that Princetonians can look past the (R) and consider the positions of those candidates (which I don’t know either).

    1. Many Princetonians, even PCDO members look past the “R”, back in 2012 there were several houses in town with lawn signs for Dick Woodbridge next to the Obama signs and signs for other Dems. But its not the people who are carefully following local issues who are deciding who wins municipal elections. The issue with the Dems lock hold in the local races is that the “big election only” voters in this town (which includes many of the students who vote here, and those who are otherwise here for 1-2 year professional or academic stints, and those who are new in town) outnumber the local-policy-focussed and will pull down the whole row of Dems and so the popular kids in the PCDO don’t really have to earn it out there in on the substance of the local issues the general local elections because they ride in on the sweep of the generally Dem-leaning population here. I’m a life long big D Democrat, I’m like living in a D town, and yes I myself will default to the D side if I don’t have too much other information about a specific race, however, as a life long big D Democrat I value robust competition and debate and think it would be better for Princeton if the dues-paying-in-person-meeting-attending membership of the PCDO wasn’t the de facto decider of our town governance. As a Democrat and a democrat I believe its time for our town office elections to be nonpartisan (especially now that we’ve aligned the timing of the mayor race to Presidential elections …).


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