‘YZ’ Zhang wins West Windsor council seat

Voters approve $114.8 million school bond referendum

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Zhang

Yingchao “YZ” Zhang was the victor in the race for a single one-year seat on West Windsor Township Council.

In winning the election, he defeated incumbent Jyotika Bahree, who had been appointed to council last January and Yan Mei Wang, who ran for council after an unsuccessful bid for mayor last year.

The seat was vacated by Mayor Hemant Marathe when he was elected last year and will be up for election again next November.

Although the township’s municipal elections take place on Election Day, West Windsor is an nonpartisan form of government and all candidates run unaffiliated.

“With much appreciation and gratefulness, I’m blessed to have been elected as your councilman,” said Zhang in a statement. “I will work hard to represent the interests of all West Windsor residents and to earn your trust.

He said that he hoped to meet with Bahree and Wang to encourage them stay involved in the community and to continue to share their ideas.

Zhang also received calls from Marathe and Councilwoman Linda Geevers to congratulate him.

“I’m sure we will be able to work together for the best interests of our wonderful town,” Zhang said.

According to unofficial results from the Mercer County Clerk’s Office as of Nov. 9, Zhang received 4,356 votes (43.92 percent). Bahree had 3,294 votes (33.21 percent), and Wang received 2,239 votes.

The final tally and certification of the election was delayed due to the new state law that set new deadlines for mail-in ballots. Under the law, all ballot postmarked on Election Day and received by Thursday, Nov. 8, were to be counted. A total of 1,836 mail-ins had been received as of Nov. 9.

“I want to thank each one of them for believing in me and my platform,” said Bahree in an email to The News. “I will not disappoint you and will continue to work on the issues I’m committed to and that are important to West Windsor.

“I may have lost the election this year but I gained many great friends and for that I’m truly thankful.”

Wang, in an email to The News, congratulated Zhang on his victory.

“I also want to thank my supporters for voting for me,” she said. “I enjoyed meeting you all and will continue to serve our township by advocating for farmland preservation, infrastructure improvements and serving on the Human Relations Council.”

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In the race for Plainsboro Township Committee, both incumbent Democrats, Deputy Mayor Neil Lewis and Nuran Nabi, ran unopposed and were re-elected to serve three-year terms.

According to unofficial results from the Middlesex County Clerk’s Office as of Nov. 9, Lewis received 5,048 votes and Nabi received 4,889. A total of 1,109 write-ins had been received.

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Rachel Juliana (left) and Tony Fleres (center) won reelection to Plainsboro seats on the WW-P school board. West Windsor resident Michele Kaish (right) also won reelection.

In the WW-P school board election, all three incumbents were re-elected.

In the race for two three year Plainsboro seats on the board, president Anthony Fleres and Rachel Juliana defeated challenger Prasannakumar Padinhareveetil.

According to unofficial election results as of Nov. 9, Juliana was the top vote-getter with 2,966 (40 percent), followed by Fleres with 2,460 (33 percent). Padinhareveetil was third with 2,030 (27 percent).

In the race for one three-year West Windsor board seat, Michele Kaish defeated Patrick Riccards. Kaish received 5,413 votes (57.57 votes) and Riccards received 3,959 (42.11 percent.)

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Voters in both townships approved the WW-P school district’s $114.8 million school bond referendum. The money will be used to make improvements to district schools, including additions, renovations and rehabilitation projects.

In Plainsboro the votes was 2,794 (63 percent) to 1,667 (37 percent). In West Windsor, the vote was 5,137 (57.91 percent) to 3,734 (42.09 percent). Both tallies are unofficial.