Within minutes of the polls closing at 8 p.m. on Nov. 8, there were broad smiles among the city’s Democratic organization.
Mayor Jim Cahill was easily re-elected to his ninth term, winning another four-year term. The mayor, who has served since 1991, faced a challenge from Republican candidate Maria C. Powell and Independent Charles “Charlie” Kratovil.
Cahill ended up with 63.82% of the votes, good for 2,595 votes.
Cahill in recent weeks has hit the campaign trail, touting the city’s development boom that includes the ongoing construction of the $731 million Health and Technology Hub and the $775 million Jack and Sheryl Morris Cancer Center – and the jobs that will be generated from these projects.
The city’s taxes have remained flat or have taken a small decrease in the past few years, even as New Brunswick emerges from the economic impact wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If you can create housing for people, jobs for people, social services for people and help people to have a better quality of life, it results in results like today,” Cahill told TAPinto New Brunswick.
Two incumbents, Rebecca Escobar and Kevin Egan, ran unopposed for re-election for four-year seats to the City Council.
Two newcomers, Petra Gaskins and Manuel Castaneda, also ran unopposed for seats on the City Council as it expands from five seats to seven. Gaskins earned a four-year term; Castaneda will take a seat with an initial two-year term, with four-year terms thereafter.
Cahill’s eighth term provided a new challenge, but he provided a steady hand as the city grappled with the lingering effects wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. As he made sure the city’s public services continued, that there was rental assistance available for tenants and landlords, and that vaccination clinics were set up throughout the city, he said he was in part inspired to run for Term No. 9.
When asked what he’s looking forward to the most of the next four years, he said, “Continuing to work with an outstanding team to serve the public. That’s really what it does. When I’m in the office tomorrow, there will be someone who calls and needs something, and I look forward to that call.”
Kratovil, who focused much of his campaign on crime prevention and the need for more affordable housing, received 26.32% of the votes, or 1,070 votes, according to unofficial results posted by the Middlesex County Clerk Nancy J. Pinkin’s Office.