Democrat Mark Freda announces he will seek a second term as mayor of Princeton

Mark Freda announced in via a social media broadcast on Friday that he will seek a second term as mayor of Princeton.

Freda, a Princeton native, is president of the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad and has served as a member of the local fire department and first aid squad for 45 years.

“I’m excited to announce my intention to seek a second term as mayor of Princeton to continue the progress we’ve made together in many areas,” Freda said at the start of his announcement Friday. “Over the past three years, my mission has been clear, to lead with transparency, foster open communication, and build lasting relationships within our community, with neighboring municipalities, and at the county, state, and federal levels. The progress we’ve made by working together is not just a reflection of leadership but of our collective effort and commitment.”

Freda said over the past three years, the municipality has expanded relationships with Mercer County, New Jersey Assembly and Senate representatives, and Princeton University.

He said significant progress has been made for the future of our municipality, including renegotiating the agreement with Princeton University for PILOT payments (which the university prefers to call voluntary contributions), and the creation of Experience Princeton, the special improvement district for businesses in Princeton.

“We are investigating ways to improve our public transportation system and there is an ongoing commitment to affordable housing,” Freda said. “We navigated the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve supported and continue to support those in need. We’ve transitioned to remote and now hybrid meetings of the mayor and council.”

Freda said because Princeton is a desirable place to live, that puts pressure on housing prices.

“How do we balance growth and density and maintain the mix of people that makes Princeton so attractive? We live in an active and sustainability-conscious community. As our residents walk and bike more, how do we ensure safe routes for them in a town built around driving a car?” Freda said. “Along with those items, we will work on road conditions and moving beyond concept plans for Community Park South. Many other important issues on the horizon.”

Freda said he would leverage his experience to address challenges head-on.

“We will work together to keep Princeton a vibrant, diverse, and forward-thinking community,” Freda said. “I welcome the exchange of ideas that the coming campaign will bring and look forward to hearing from the residents of Princeton about their concerns and their ideas in the months leading up to the primary.”

The Democratic and Republican primaries are on Tuesday, June 4. Freda ran unopposed for his first four-year term as mayor in both the primary and general elections in 2020. The last three council races have also not been competitive, with voters having no choice for council because there are no competitive primaries or general elections. Only the school board race, which is nonpartisan, continues to have competitive elections.

The mayor is a defendant in a lawsuit related to a 2021 car theft and chase that led to a fatal crash on Route 27.

Freda, 67, served as a councilman in the former borough from 1986 to 1999 and was the director of emergency services for the borough from 2009 to 2011. He is a founding member of the Spirit of Princeton Committee, serves on the board of Dorothea’s House, and was the chair of the consolidation transition task force in 2012 and 2013. He has worked in the corporate real estate and facilities management field for more than 25 years, most recently serving as the global head of facilities and real estate for the Soros Fund Management in New York City. He previously worked for Pfizer as the director of New York City site operations and as the vice president for corporate services and real estate for Goldman Sachs. A Notre Dame High School graduate, he earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and public administration from the College of New Jersey.