Hamilton Republican Showdown: Henderson to Primary Yaede for Mayor

If you thought things couldn’t get any more interesting in Hamilton politics – you were wrong! Sit back, pour yourself your favorite beverage, grab a snack and pay attention, it’s gonna be a roller coaster ride from now until November 5th.

David Henderson, one of the loudest, most vocal critics of Mayor Kelly Yaede and her administration, and who is part of an ever growing crowd of critics that seems to get bigger by the day, proclaimed that he will seek the Republican nomination in a primary election on June 4, 2019.

Yaede and her administration have been bogged down a number of endless issues and news stories that include investigations into the Hamilton Township Animal Shelter by the Mercer County Prosecutors Office, the township’s costly failures to respond to Open Public Records Act requests in a timely fashion, a public battle and suspension with their own CFO John Barrett that a one time was praised as a fiscal wizard by both the administration and Yaede herself, right down to an open civil war within the Republican Party and former Republican running mates Ed Gore and Ileana Schirmer.

Both the former running mates of Yaede, being Ed Gore and Councilwoman Ileana Schirmer were in attendance, along with former Hamilton Republican Municipal Chairman Michael Chianese for Henderson’s announcement that he will seek the office of Mayor.

“I simply cannot sit by any longer and watch the town that I grew up in run into the ground by the mismanagement and corruption of the current Administration. I want Hamiltonians to have a viable, conservative choice to manage the affairs of their government moving forward.”

Henderson opened up his annoucement by explaining to a crowd of several dozen supporters on the steps of the Hamilton municipal building his managerial experience in both the public and private sector jobs

“I want to touch on a portion of my experience so that I may begin to give you some assurance that I’m the best person to run this Township.  I am a certified public manager having spent 25 years in various technical and management roles within the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. In addition to my government experience I’ve held positions as regional manager, division manager and executive vice president with engineering and construction firms having completed construction and environmental remediation projects in more than 35 states and 22 foreign countries”, Henderson continued.

Henderson explained that there are numerous challenges moving forward as he delved into three issues being Economic Development, Fire Consolidation and Taxes.

“Hamilton needs to move away from the current template of waiting to see what fast food companies and warehouse developers knock on our door. Hamilton residents deserve better than row after row of WaWa and warehouses. Quality Economic Development and Re-Development will bring increased property values and an improved quality of life.”

On the issue of fire consolidation, Henderson said the township’s nine autonomous fire districts should be consolidated in to a single district, which is what the FMBA firefighter unions originally advocated for when they began their consolidation campaign movement in 2015 and then converted to a municipal department at a further time.

The final of his talk on issues revolved around taxes where he blasted the administration and provided charts that showed what he claimed was proof that Yaede raised taxes over 14% since 2013 while claiming that township debt has increased over $46 million.

This debt is going to be paid by our children and grandchildren and that is not acceptable to me

Henderson concluded by challenging Yaede to a series of three debates and then openly taking questions from the press and the public.

“I call on the Mayor, who on Tuesday described herself as the only adult in the room, to actually step into the room with me and join me in a series of three debates to allow Republican voters in Hamilton Township to decide who they want to send forward to the general election in the fall.”

In a media advisory sent to the press on Tuesday, Henderson headlined his announcement as A Milestone in Hamilton Township Politics and Governmental Activities. It certainly was a milestone as no incumbent Mayor of either party has ever been challenged in a primary in over 35 years in Hamilton Township.

Yaede annouces re-election

Unlike Henderson who advised the Media of his “Milestone” and Councilman Jeff Martin who announced his bid for Mayor last month, incumbent Mayor Kelly Yaede’s campaign did not give advance notice to the press via any formal announcement that an event was happening and invite them to cover the event which was held at a private venue. The Trentonian also acknowledged this in a response to a writer in their “Back Talk” column.

The Yaede campaign did send a press release nearly 24 hours after the event was held to our organization. We attempted to contact the phone number listed on the release with more questions, but unfortunately, the phone number was wrong, containing an 11 digit phone number when US phone service only use 10 digits per phone number. You can view a copy of the release here

In the release Yaede touted Hamilton’s low crime rate, booming economic development and stable property taxes among her biggest accomplishments.

It continued that Mayor Yaede vows to continue to fight for the people of Hamilton when re-elected in November.

Martin and running mates wait in the wings to take on the victors of Republican primary

As the Republicans will battle it out in a primary election this June, the Hamilton Township Democrats have chosen their slate via nominating convention and stand united behind their choice of Councilman Jeff Martin for Mayor along with his running mates of Pat Papero and Nancy Phillips which are seeking a spot on town council.

The primary election will be held on June 4, 2019 and the general election will be held on November 5, 2019.

Follow us here on our website and on our social media channels as we will attempt to keep the local community informed to the best of our ability about the happenings inside the walls of their government.

About The Author

Irving Lawrence Duckwald III is a freelance writer and blogger based in Central New Jersey. He has a penchant for fried chicken, fast cars, and fancy suits. With a knack for "setting the record straight", he can argue till the cows come home why it's Pork Roll and not Taylor Ham.