No incumbents are running in this year’s borough council race. Democrat Debra Lehman and Republican Shelby Tewell will both be leaving council at the end of the year.
Running to replace them are Democrats Debra Stuhler and Samara McAuliffe and Republican Mark Bovenizer.
Bovenizer has lived in the borough for more than 10 years. He is a father to two daughters who attend school in the district. He was born in Princeton and went to school in Hopewell Valley from third grade on. He has a degree in finance from Lehigh University and is executive administrator of a private foundation the last four years.
He has been a volunteer first responder for the Hopewell Fire Department for more than 10 years. Since 2009, he has been an elected fire commissioner in the local fire district. Bovenizer says three major issues facing Hopewell Borough are forces outside the borough affecting borough taxes, smart and fiscally responsible redevelopment and long-range outlook on capital projects.
McAuliffe has lived in Hopewell Borough since 2004, having grown up in both Hopewell Borough and Hopewell Township. She attended school in the district prior to earning a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University. She is a human resources adviser for a Hopewell Borough-based firm.
McAuliffe is membership lead for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, as well as Democratic municipal chair for Hopewell Borough. She lives with her son and daughter.
McAuliffe says three major issues facing the borough are addressing traffic on side streets, finding new ways to engage the community, and working to ensure that the borough reflects the values of the community.
Debra Stuhler has lived in Hopewell Borough since 2002. Her son Sam attended school in the district. She has been a volunteer for many local events, including the Harvest Fair and the Hopewell Block Party, which she co-founded. A graduate of the City University of New York, she works as a project manager for Merrill Lynch.
Stuhler says three major issues facing the borough are traffic, affordable housing, and public safety.
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Besides choosing between Ed Jackowski or Julie Blake in the township committee race, Hopewell Township voters will have a choice of three candidates to fill two seats on the Hopewell Valley Regional School District Board of Education. These two seats are being vacated by Leigh Ann Peterson and Lisa Wolff, currently vice president of the board and for many years its president.
The three candidates are Deborah Linthorst, Arleen Curran and Debra O’Reilly.
Linthorst has resided in Hopewell Township since 2000. The stay-at-home mother of Ryan (18), Matthew (15), Tea (12) and Michaela (10) has been a PTO president, a member of the district future planning committee and parent council, a lay leader at St. Matthew’s Church, and a Hopewell Valley Soccer associate team manager. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from Rutgers and a masters in public administration from George Washington University. She has worked as a legislative analyst in Washington and also as a financial analyst for 20th Century Fox.
Linthorst says three major issues facing the school district in the next three years are college and career readiness, maintaining a healthy school environment, and providing consistent support for staff.
Curran has been a resident of Hopewell Valley for 15 years. She is mother to Dylan (17) and Alexa (15), both of whom attend Hopewell Valley Central High School. She attended Emmanuel College and Rider University as an economics major.
Curran is a certified holistic health coach and social media manager for Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spas. She says three major issues facing the district the next three years are keeping children safe, giving them skills to cope with stress, and providing the best possible education while being fiscally responsible.
O’Reilly moved to Hopewell Township from Ewing four years ago. She teaches special education in middle school in Montgomery and has three children: Kevin (16), Brendan (14) and Brian (14). All attend CHS.
O’Reilly says three major issues facing the district in the next three years are the safety and security of students and staff, the social and emotional needs of students, and district finances.
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There are two seats available on the Pennington Borough council, and only two candidates running for them: Democrats Deborah Gnatt and Elizabeth Rosenblatt. Gnatt is an incumbent; incumbent Joseph Lawver is not running for reelection.
One of the nine seats on the Hopewell Valley Regional School District Board of Education is committed to Pennington, and that seat is up for re-election this year. However, incumbent Joanna “Jenny” Long is the only candidate running.
Voters in all three municipalities will have choices when it comes to state and federal elections.
At the county level, three seats are up for grabs on the Board of Chosen Freeholders. Democratic incumbents Ann Cannon, Samuel Frisby and Pasquale “Pat” Colavita are running against Republican challengers Michael Silvestri, Mary Walker and Cynthia Larsen. Also running unopposed for a one-year unexpired term is Democrat Nina Melker, who was selected to Anthony Verrelli’s seat when he joined the Assembly.
Both current representatives of Legislative District 15 in the New Jersey Assembly, Democrats Verlina Reynolds-Jackson and Anthony Verrelli, are running for one-year unexpired terms, their having assumed the seats during the year. Reynolds-Jackson took over when Assemblywoman Elizabeth Muoio took a position in Gov. Phil Murphy’s cabinet as state treasurer, and Verrelli took the seat long held by Reed Gusciora when the latter relinquished it after being elected mayor of Trenton.
Reynolds-Jackson is running against Republican challenger Tracy Sinatra and third-party candidate Edward Forchion of the Repeal Bail Reform party. Forchion is perhaps better known as NJWeedman.
Verrelli is running against GOP challenger Justin Tibbetts and Alex Bethea of the Integrity Transparency Accountability party.
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman of the 12th Congressional District is up for re-election as are all members of the House of Representatives. The Democrat is running against Republican Daryl Kipnis. And Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez is running for reelection against Republican Bob Hugin and six third-party candidates.
Information for this article was taken from vote411.org, a website run by the League of Women Voters to provide information to voters regarding upcoming elections.