Category: Election

A 3-Way Race for New Brunswick Mayor Develops

A 3-Way Race for New Brunswick Mayor Develops

By TapInto New Brunswick

June 10, 2022

The quiet primary season in New Brunswick has passed as all the partisan races were uncontested. And, as we move toward the general election in November, only the mayoral race will see a contest.

On Tuesday, June 7, Jim Cahill, who has served as mayor for the past 31 years, as well as the Democratic council contenders went uncontested. Republican mayoral candidate Maria C. Powell also ran unopposed for her nomination. No one was on the ballot seeking the GOP nominations for council, though there were five write-in votes, none receiving the required number needed to get on the ballot.

Joining the mayoral race on Tuesday is independent Charlie Kratovil, who announced his candidacy yesterday, on June 7, which is the deadline for independent candidates to submit their petitions to appear on the general election ballot.

Since the 2018 election, which Cahill won with 77% of the 6,800 or so votes cast, Cahill has guided the city through a health crisis (COVID-19), a natural disaster (the remnants of Hurricane Ida) and an array of economic challenges.

Even as taxes have remained flat or have taken a small decrease in the past few years, the city has moved forward with a number of development projects that continue to reshape the city. The $172 million New Brunswick Performing Arts Center opened in 2019, and work has begun on the $665 million Health and Technology Hub, The Valenti Community School and the Jack and Sheryl Morris Cancer Hospital.

Read the full article here.

May 31, 2022: Deadline to Apply for a Vote By Mail Ballot by Mail for Primary Election

May 31, 2022: Deadline to Apply for a Vote By Mail Ballot by Mail for Primary Election

May 31, 2022 is the deadline to apply for a vote by mail ballot by mail for New Jersey’s June 7, 2022 Primary Election. The Middlesex County Clerk’s Office must have your application in hand by May 31.

Click on this link to find out more and apply:

New Brunswick Democrats Announce Two Additional City Council Candidates to Run on Slate for June Primary

New Brunswick Democrats Announce Two Additional City Council Candidates to Run on Slate for June Primary

By TapInto New Brunswick

March 15, 2022

Following a screening process culminating tonight, the New Brunswick Democratic Organization (NBDO) has named two additional council candidates for its slate: Petra Gaskins and Manuel Castaneda.

These political newcomers will join the established team of Mayor Jim Cahill and Councilmembers Kevin Egan and Rebecca Escobar, all running for re-election to four-year terms.

This year, the City Council will be expanding from five seats to seven seats. Gaskins will seek a seat with a four-year term; Castaneda is running for a seat with an initial two-year term, with four-year terms thereafter, according to a press release.

NBDO Chairman T.K. Shamy said the screening process identified many strong candidates. But Castaneda and Gaskins offered an impressive vision of the city’s future that is aligned with many of the long-term goals and objectives of the New Brunswick Democrats.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Petra and Manuel to our team,” Cahill said. “Both have superb credentials, are engaged in our community and have a true desire to serve the people. I appreciate the work of T.K. and the entire Organization for conducting a screening process with such exceptional results.”

Gaskins, who serves as Chief of Staff for State Sen. Andrew Zwicker (D-16th Dist.), focuses on engaging with the community and ensuring proposed legislation is relevant and impactful to all constituents. Before joining the senator’s office, Gaskins served as Outreach Director to Rep. Bonne Watson Coleman (D-12th Dist.), as part of various roles over a six-year period.

In addition, the council candidate served as an intergovernmental affairs aide to Gov. Phil Murphy and was chapter director of the New Leaders Council, a national organization that develops, connects and uplifts inclusive, cross-sector leaders. Gaskins also serves as chair of the Middlesex County Young Democrats Black Caucus.

In addition, Gaskins is studying for her graduate degree in Business and Science at Rutgers University. She earned her undergraduate degree in politics and international relations at Rider University, in which she studied in Xi’an and Shanghai China. She speaks English, Chinese and Spanish.

Castaneda has a graduate degree in health law from Loyola School of Law-Chicago and serves as Director of Community Health at New Brunswick Tomorrow, a non-profit social services organization. Conversant in both English and Spanish, he has launched a number of successful community-based health initiatives, such as the “Live Well Vivir Bien” campaign and the New Brunswick Healthy Housing Collaborative.

The council candidate, a graduate of Rutgers University, is widely known in New Brunswick for building bridges between community agencies and city stakeholders to address local health priorities, maximizing the many resources that already exist. Prior to joining New Brunswick Tomorrow in 2015, Castaneda served seven years as a case manager at the Rutgers University- Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Castaneda also offers an extensive resume of civic service. He has been a member of the New Brunswick Planning Board since April 2017 and was named chair in January. He also serves as executive chair of the New Brunswick Community Food Alliance since 2017, the lead director of the New Brunswick Healthy Housing Collaborative since October 2016 and co-lead facilitator of Healthier New Brunswick since 2015.

The five NBDO candidates will appear on the ballot for the June 7 primary.

Mayor Cahill, Councilmembers Egan and Escobar Seeking Re-Election

Mayor Cahill, Councilmembers Egan and Escobar Seeking Re-Election

By Chuck O’Donnell, TapInto New Brunswick

March 3, 2022

In an election year in which the City Council will expand to seven seats, the New Brunswick Democratic Organization (NBDO) today announced that Mayor Jim Cahill and Councilmembers Kevin Egan and Rebecca Escobar will be seeking re-election to four-year terms.

In addition, the NBDO is launching a screening process for two additional council candidates to run on its slate for the June primary, as the City Council expands from five seats to seven seats. One new council slot will be a four-year term; the other will be a two-year term.

NBDO Chairman T.K. Shamy said this will be a transformational year for the City’s government, as the organization puts forth candidates who have served New Brunswick, while also presenting newcomers who will offer additional perspective and insight about the direction of the City.

“There’s no doubt the City has benefited enormously from the commitment and tremendous vision of Mayor Cahill and Councilmembers Egan and Escobar,” Shamy said. “New Brunswick serves as a national leader in redevelopment. It’s difficult to find any city that has undergone a more incredible and lasting renaissance than New Brunswick. And that is directly accountable to Mayor Cahill and the entire City Council.”

Cahill, a lifelong resident completing his eighth term as mayor, is widely recognized for his energy, determination and vision, continually working with residents and the business and civic community to identify new ways to stabilize taxes and continually improve our City.

“I’m thankful for the ongoing support of the New Brunswick Democratic Organization and our shared vision for the future of the City,” Cahill said. “The mission today remains the same as when I first became mayor: to create jobs and put more people to work than ever before so they can better care for themselves and their families; to create homes for all income levels, so everyone can live in a clean, safe and affordable home; to provide a healthier lifestyle and better access to healthcare and fresh, nutritious and affordable food, especially for the most vulnerable and traditionally underserved; to give our children a nurturing environment and the opportunity to excel in their academic pursuits; and to be a place that provides people the opportunity for a better life.”

“Every service, every program, and every one of the nearly $5 billion in redevelopment initiatives we’ve undertaken helps us meet these goals,” the mayor added.

Egan, elected to the City Council in 2011 and served as council president, has championed job creation and the rights and protection of working men and women. With four decades in construction, and as the business representative for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 456, Egan has been a vital voice in the careful redevelopment of the community.

“I was elected to City Council with the strong belief that all New Brunswick residents should have access to local, good-paying jobs,” Egan said. “Over the past decade, I am proud of the opportunities we have created. Just one look around the City and you will see so many new ways in which we are helping local families succeed.”

“New Brunswick’s redevelopment efforts have produced 7,500 new jobs for New Brunswick residents, and generates more than $22 million a year to support government services and public schools, always resulting in New Brunswick being among the lowest in residential taxes in Middlesex County,” he added. “As a lifelong resident of New Brunswick, I’m pleased with how much we’ve accomplished. And with so much more redevelopment in the pipeline, I look forward to serving another four years on the City Council.”

Escobar, elected to the City Council in 2010 and now serving as council vice president, is widely known for her grassroots work and keen interest in ensuring all community groups have a connection to City Hall. Her work on the governing body dovetails with a professional career as a community advocate, working as Program Director, Middlesex County Youth Advocate Programs.

“As a vocal community advocate and parent, I have a very strong understanding of the needs of the people of New Brunswick,” Escobar said. “In my role on the City Council, I’ve fought for and succeeded in improving and enforcing tenant rights, expanding health care options and creating a safer City by building key community partnerships. As a proud catalyst of change, I am running for reelection to continue that momentum, while exploring new initiatives that ensure residents continue to benefit directly from the many program and redevelopment initiatives now underway.”

Read the full article here.

Armwood, Azcona-Barber, and Kenny win Middlesex Freeholder Nomination, Scott wins Sheriff Nomination

Armwood, Azcona-Barber, and Kenny win Middlesex Freeholder Nomination, Scott wins Sheriff Nomination

Middlesex County Freeholders Charles Kenny and Kenneth Armwood, Sheriff Mildred Scott, and Claribel Azcona-Barber, the county pick to replace retiring Freeholder Blanquita Valenti, have won their primary.

Azcona-Barber defeated former Perth Amboy councilman Joel Pabon to gain the backing of her party organization in March.

Azcona-Barber has spent nineteen years as a Democratic county committeewoman from New Brunswick. She has served as a legislative aide to Assemblyman Joseph Egan (D-New Brunswick), as an executive assistant to the New Jersey Secretary of State, and on the staffs of Governors James E. McGreevey and Jon Corzine.

Freeholder Armwood is a lifelong resident of Piscataway and a graduate of Rutgers University, and was elected to the Council in 2004. He served as Council President in 2008 and 2013.

A lifelong Woodbridge resident, Freeholder Kenny is a graduate of Middlesex County College. Since 1995, he has served his hometown as Chief of Woodbridge Fire District #1. Kenny has also served as Woodbridge Council President in 2003 and 2013.

Sheriff Scott was elected as the first female Sheriff for the county of Middlesex and the first African American Sheriff in the state of New Jersey in 2011.

Mayor Cahill, Councilman Egan, and Councilwoman Escobar Sworn into New Terms

Mayor Cahill, Councilman Egan, and Councilwoman Escobar Sworn into New Terms

The air was electric in City Hall as Mayor Jim Cahill, Councilman Kevin P. Egan and Councilwoman Rebecca H. Escobar were sworn into new office terms during an Inauguration Ceremony.

Councilwoman Escobar was sworn in by the Hon. Roger Daly in the company of her daughter and grandson. Councilman Egan took the oath of office in the company of his wife, from the Honorable Mary Casey.

Mayor Cahill, having been reelected to an unprecedented 8th term in office, thanked New Brunswick residents for “great honor” to serve, spoke of the many accomplishments of his administration, as well as of the goals to reach in the next four years.

“Together with our Council, we deliver the best services at the best cost, ” Cahill said. “A safer city with crime cut in half. A senior resource center second to none. New schools and award-winning youth programming. Investments in our parks, water and sewer infrastructure. And our ambitious Sustainable New Jersey initiatives”.

Mayor Cahill also looked to the future initiatives already underway, including the opening of the city’s new Performing Arts Center, and the renaming of Commercial Avenue to Paul Robeson Boulevard, to dedicate, “a man ahead of his time, and someone near and dear to the New Brunswick community”.

Mayor Cahill ended off his address by looking forward to, “continue our work together to build a better New Brunswick for today and for generations to come”.



For the Rutgers Student Democrats one question is being heard loud and clear, R U 4 Cahill?

At the Hidden Grounds Coffee House at 4C Easton Ave on Tuesday night a campaign awareness event was held to lend support to the reelection efforts of Mayor James Cahill.

With music playing and the guest enjoying coffee books of changes, both past and future, were distributed to highlight just how much the city has changed.

“When you look at New Brunswick in 1991, when Mayor Cahill was elected, and you look now you can see he is the epitome of change,” said Michael Zhadanovsky, the VP of College Democrats of NJ.

Zhadanovsky attributed the dramatic landscape change, from the Yard to the development of the Hub, as proof of Mayor Cahills success.

“Mayor Cahill, his council team, and his administration just secured a $100,000 grant from Governor Murphy’s innovation program that’s going straight to the hub,” he said.

New Brunswick is a great place to live for students and graduates thanks to the opportunities that have arisen due to the Mayor, Zhadanovsky said.

“New Brunswick has been the home to Rutgers for 250 years and that means New Brunswick has been the home of students for 250 years,” said Mayor Cahill.

Mayor Cahill joked that he hasn’t been around for the whole time, but the City and the University have grown together.

“We saw there was a need to make the City collaborate with the University and vice versa,” he said.

The Mayor then went on to highlight some of the major changes that have resulted from the cooperation between the two entities, ranging from the new book store, the Gateway Center, The Yard, and the academic building on seminary place.

“There were abandoned buildings, underutilized buildings, owned by the seminary,” Cahill said. “To put the Seminary in a room with Rutgers University, get them to swap lands … and to put together an academic building, the first academic building built in ten years.”

Tilak Bhatnagar, an Honors College student and Edison Young Democrats President, was impressed and thankful for the work the city put into helping that develop.

“As an Honors College student, the Honors College is a great example of the development work for Rutgers that Mayor Cahill has been involved with,” Bhatnagar said. “Mayor Cahill’s history of collaborating with Rutgers on a variety of initiatives speaks for itself.”

Rutgers University Democrats Treasurer, Sam Beson, said that supporting Mayor Cahill is supporting New Brunswick and Rutgers University.

“What really stuck out to me was all the changes he has over seen that I took for granted because I was here afterwards,” Beson said. “I was never here when The Yard was a parking lot and the academic buildings were seminary buildings.”

First year student Ameena Qobrtay said that meeting the mayor and hearing what he did was a huge benefit to her from attending the event.

“He did a really good job of explaining what he did for the school, which is what I was interested in,” Qobrtay said.

Booker visits New Brunswick, supports Cahill at ice cream social

Booker visits New Brunswick, supports Cahill at ice cream social Featured

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker (D) and Sen. Robert Menendez (D) joined Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J. 6) at Mt. Zion AME Church in New Brunswick yesterday to voice their objections of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

On Thursday, Booker threatened to air confidential documents regarding Kavanaugh’s position on racial profiling and information during his time working as a White House official for former President George W. Bush’s administration, according to an article from NJ Advance Media.

Booker moved to have the documents disclosed and they since have been. Whether the information was available prior to Booker’s demonstration on Thursday, where he claimed to have defied Senate rules by threatening to release the documents, has been a point of contention on both ends, according to the article.

He was threatened with penalties, that he says have since been revived by other Senate members late last week, and acknowledged his actions should have resulted in his expulsion, according to an article from TapInto.

“Right now, here we stand on Monday morning, and I have now released hundreds of pages of committee confidential documents against their rules, because they’re sham rules,” Booker told reporters from NJ Advance Media at yesterday’s event.

Menendez and Pallone echoed Booker’s feelings and said Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court could impact immigration, health care, civil rights, racial profiling and abortion in America, according to the article.

Prior to the event, Booker attended an ice cream social at Thomas Sweet Ice Cream on Easton Avenue in New Brunswick in support of Mayor James Cahill’s (D) campaign. It is Cahill’s latest in a series of initiatives to connect with the Rutgers student body leading into November’s mayoral election.

Cahill also attended the event at Mt. Zion AME Church earlier in the day.

Christian Zapata

Christian Zapata is a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in journalism and media studies and minoring in philosophy. He is a News Editor @ The Daily Targum. For more updates, follow him @c_zapata161 on Twitter. 

Paid Canvassing Opportunity

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