Hamilton Mayor-Elect Jeff Martin addresses his supporters after the election. Submitted Photo.
A shoulder to shoulder crowd erupted in cheer as Democratic Municipal Chairwoman Babara Plumeri announced Jeff Martin had been elected Hamilton’s next mayor.
Martin topped Yaede by 2684 votes or 12 percent according to unofficial results from the Mercer County Clerks office.
The even-keeled, statesman that never lost his composure throughout a grueling campaign in which he came under a barrage of negative attacks from Yaede, took the stage with voluminous tone and excitement exclaiming ” Good Evening Hamilton” as the crowd at Stone Terrace roared so loud it was it was likely heard at Cedar Gardens where the Republicans had gathered awaiting results from the election.
“It feels like today is a new start for the Township of Hamilton to really move forward, move it in the right direction,” he continued.
Yaede, a 13 year elected official and once the shining star in the eyes of statewide Republicans was derailed after facing a primary challenge in June from David Henderson and spending the better part of 2 years making headlines while entangled in scandals which included being charged for releasing her primary opponents expunged records, fire district consolidation, suspending the towns CFO, public battles with her once former running mate and Republican Councilwoman Ileana Schirmer, members of her cabinet being charged with animal cruelty, and picking a fight with neighboring Robbinsville’s Mayor, David Fried over a sewer billing dispute.
While Republicans statewide found surprising success in the “Murphy Midterms” picking up 1 senate seat and 2 assembly seats last night, Yaede’s insurmountable mistakes dismounted her attempt at a third mayoral term despite trying to paint Martin as a Murphy Democrat, even going as far as attacking his wife, who works in state government.
“This will be the first time in 26 years that the Democrats have not expanded their legislative caucuses. In every election since 1993, they have been adding to their ranks,” said Rider University political scientist Micah Rasmussen to NJ1015.com. “To put it another way, this is the first time since 1991 that Republicans are actually going to increase their membership in the Legislature.”
Yaede posted the following statement on her facebook page after conceding to her supporters.
“I am grateful to the residents of Hamilton Township for giving me the opportunity to represent and serve them. I’m proud of the work we’ve accomplished during my tenure. Being the Mayor of this outstanding community has been one of the greatest honors of my life.
I extend my best wishes to Jeff Martin and look forward to working with him for a smooth transition while asking every member of our community to come together for the greater good of Hamilton Township.”
Martins running mates Pat Papero and Nancy Phillips easy beat their Republican opponents by similar margins.
Martin along with Papero and Phillips will be sworn in on January 1, 2020, along with Martin’s replacement on the council.
There is no official word on who will replace Martin on the council.