Six Democrats and one Republican have filed petitions to run for seats on the Princeton Council in the June 5 primaries. Two three-year terms on the six-member council are on the ballot this year.
The Democratic candidates are Adam Bierman, Michelle Pirone Lambros, Alvin McGowen, Eve Niedergang, Surinder Sharma, and Dwaine Williamson. A seventh candidate, Myrtha Jasmin, dropped out of the Democratic primary race. Incumbent council members Heather Howard and Lance Liverman decided not to seek reelection this year. The lone Republican seeking a seat on the council is Lishian “Lisa” Wu. She is the first Republican to file a petition seeking a Princeton Council seat in three years.
The Princeton Community Democratic Organization endorsed Niedergang in March. Williamson received “the support” of the organization. Registered Democrats who pay $15 in dues and attend the March meeting vote on candidates for endorsement. The municipal committee then votes the following evening. Rarely does the committee go against the club’s vote. The municipal committee ranked Niedergang and Williamson as the top two candidates. The Democratic County Chair decides ballot placement, taking the municipal committee vote into consideration. Rarely does the county chair go against the municipal committee’s vote.
Bierman, a native of Princeton, graduated from Rutgers University with a master’s degree in international affairs and public policy. He works for a state-run school in Trenton that educates at-risk teen moms. He is the union representative for his school. He has served on the executive board of the Princeton Community Democratic Organization and has been a municipal Democratic committeeman for district 13 more than six years. He currently serves as the committee treasurer.
Lambros, also a native of Princeton, is a graduate of George Washington University with a master’s degree in international affairs and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pa,. She worked on Capitol Hill for Congressman John Murtha of Pennsylvania after she graduated from college, and later did campaign fieldwork for congressional and local campaigns in California before moving into corporate fundraising and event management. She founded her first business when she was 26. She worked overseas many years managing multiple small businesses and events before moving back to Princeton with her family.
McGowen, a lifelong resident of Princeton who was an assistant prosecutor for Mercer County for a quarter century, is a resident of the Witherspoon Jackson neighborhood. An advocate for affordable housing and smart planning, McGowen is the chairman of the municipality’s affordable housing board and has served on the board for two decades. He also serves on the boards of the Princeton Housing Authority and Princeton Future.
Niedergang, the volunteer coordinator for the Stony-Brook Millstone Watershed Association, has lived in Princeton for more than 25 years. She has served on the board of the Friends of the Princeton Public Library, and was co-chair of the Riverside School PTO. She is a member of the executive board for the Princeton Community Democratic Organization, and represents her district on the Princeton Democratic Municipal Committee.
Sharma has lived in Princeton since 1995. An aerospace engineer for four decades, he is the president of Global Aerospace Systems. He earned his doctorate from Northcentral University and his master’s degree from the University of Toronto. He is an advisory board member for the Investors Bank of New Jersey.He was a member of the Princeton traffic, safety, and transportation committee and is now a member of the complete streets committee. He was a member of the Friends of Princeton Public Library for six years.
Williamson is a lawyer with a private practice in Trenton who handles personal injury, civil litigation, real estate and traffic court cases. Last year he was the campaign manager for Princeton Council members Tim Quinn and Jenny Crumiller, and Mayor Liz Lempert, who all ran unopposed in the general election. He and his wife have lived in Princeton since 1998 and have three children. He has served on the Princeton Planning Board, as Democratic municipal committeeman for his district, and is first vice president of the Princeton Community Democratic Organization. He is also a volunteer for Committed and Faithful Princetonians.
The League of Women Voters of the Princeton Area and Princeton Community Television are sponsoring a public forum for the Democratic candidates tonight, May 1, at 7 p.m. in the municipal Building at 400 Witherspoon Street. You can view the forum on Princeton Community Television.
Any unaffiliated candidate who wants to run for a seat on the Princeton Council must file a petition by the June 5 primary. The deadline to register to vote in the June primary is May 15. If you are an unaffiliated voter, you can declare a party at the polls on primary day.