On Tuesday, Nov. 8, voters throughout Mercer County made their voices heard in the midterm elections, as some University alumni vied for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Voters in Princeton and Mercer County cast their votes for candidates to fill seats in the U.S. House of Representatives in the the New Jersey 3rd and 12th congressional districts, both of which saw Democratic incumbents win.
The race in the 3rd congressional district garnered national attention as incumbent Andy Kim (D-N.J.) and Republican Bob Healy sought to claim the seat. At 11 p.m., the Associated Press (AP) called this race for Kim.
At 10:59 p.m., the AP called the election in the 12th district for the incumbent Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.). Watson Coleman was challenged by Republican Darius Mayfield and Libertarian C. Lynn Genrich, and will be serving her fifth term.
All Princeton alumni running for re-election in the House won their respective races.
Representatives Terri Sewell ’86 (D-Ala.), Ken Buck ’81 (R-Colo.), Mike Gallagher ’06 (R-Wis.), Derek Kilmer ’96 (D-Wash.), and Raja Krishnamoorthi ’95 (D-Ill.) each won their races according to the AP.
Rep. Kilmer says Princeton is a large part of his journey to Congressional re-election.
“This morning, I'm thinking about Princeton,” he wrote in a statement to The Daily Princetonian. “I came to Princeton from a small timber town in Washington State that had fallen on hard times. When I was at Princeton, I actually did my senior thesis looking at how to help towns like my hometown. And now, I'm in Congress working on those issues, which is pretty cool. Based on this year's result, I get to keep representing my hometown and working to create more economic opportunity for the folks who live there.”
Rep. Gallagher won his election in Wisconsin’s eighth congressional district by a margin of 60 percent, the largest margin of victory in the history of the district, according to his press secretary, Jordan Dunn.
“I am honored and humbled by the trust Northeast Wisconsin has placed in me to serve another term. I have always said I will treat each term as a deployment, and over the next two years, I promise to fight for freedom, seek principled solutions to the problems we face, and ensure that Northeast Wisconsin remains the best place in the country to live and raise a family,” Rep. Gallagher said in a statement sent to the ‘Prince.’
Rep. Sewell expressed similar sentiments in a statement sent to the ‘Prince.’
“Regardless of how you voted, I pledge to continue listening, learning, and fighting for the values we share,” she wrote. “We as a nation face many challenges but I am confident that working together, we can continue to deliver more resources and better opportunities for our communities. I look forward to the work that lies ahead!”
Rep. Krishnamoorthi also said that he is honored to win his re-election, noting how hard-fought his campaign was.
“My parents came to this country with little more than a dream for their family’s future and the faith that they could achieve it here in America,” Krishnamoorthi wrote in a statement sent to the ‘Prince.’ “And despite some hard times, we did. Now, we need to make sure that those opportunities continue for all of our people, whether they’ve been here for generations, or are relatively new to our shores,” he said.
Many Princeton alumni also won their respective races for state government positions.
The AP confirmed Governor Jared Polis ’96, as the governor of Colorado at 9:58 p.m.
As of 10:00 p.m. the New York Times has called races in favor of New York State Senator Brian Kavanagh ’89, Hawaii State Representative Della au Belatti ’96, Connecticut State Representative Maria Horn ’86, California State Representative Vince Fong GS ’03, Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Campbell ’04.
“While this run was personal to me, it was not for me. It was for you! People and families across Massachusetts who don’t feel seen or heard by government. I’m here to say: I see you! And that government can and should be responsive to your needs and do it with a sense of integrity, empathy and urgency,” Campbell said in her press release forwarded to the ‘Prince.’
The New York Times reported Liz Hallock ’02, who was running for Washington State Legislature and Ricky Hurtado GS ’15 who was running for North Carolina State House of Representatives lost their races.
For the Princeton Town Council, Michele Pirone Lambros and Mia Sacks both won a second term on the Council. Both ran unopposed and received approximately 2,600 votes as of 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Due to a “printing and scanning issue with the ballots,” voting machines in Mercer County were down Tuesday up until the polls closed at 8 p.m. The Mercer County website explained that “[v]oters can still report to their respective polling stations and cast their vote on a standard ballot and insert their ballot into the emergency slot in the machine. Dominion, the voting machine maker, is working to resolve the problem.”
Mercer County Clerk Paula Sollami Covello told the ‘Prince’ that the voting machines were not going to be “fix[ed] out on the field.” Instead, each vote would be scanned “at the Board of Elections tonight” so that “every single ballot is treated the same.”
Covello said that despite the setback, “We’re trying to get them all counted tonight, if not definitely tomorrow morning.”
The Board of Elections has high-capacity scanners that election workers are using to process the votes, according to Covello.
As for the Board of County Commissioners, Mercer County’s legislative body, Democrat candidates Nina D. Melker and Cathleen Lewis are set to defeat Republican candidates Michael Chianese and Andrew Kotula Jr.
Melker, the current chair of the Board of County Commissioners, was running for her second term as the only incumbent in this race. Lewis has previously served on the Lawrence Council for 10 years, including serving two terms as mayor.
Despite a controversial banner campaigning against the three incumbent members of the Princeton School Board running for re-election, Susan Kanter, Debbie Bronfeld, and Dafna Kendal are set to retain their seats after defeating Margarita “Rita” Rafalovsky and Lishian “Lisa” Wu.
Charlie Roth is a staff News writer and assistant Data editor for the ‘Prince,’ focusing on local town coverage.
Rebecca Cunningham is a news and podcast contributor for the ‘Prince.’
Madeleine LeBeau is a staff News writer and staff Data writer for the ‘Prince,’ covering campus news and news related to the intersection of the University and the town of Princeton. Please direct any correction requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.