There were a number of upsets in the West Windsor municipal and West Windsor-Plainsboro School Board elections on Nov. 5, with several incumbents being defeated.
In the nonpartisan West Windsor Council election, the Community Leaders For West Windsor slate—Sonia Gawas, Andrea Mandel and Michael Stevens—defeated the Progressive Vision For West Windsor Slate—council president Alison Miller, Yan Mei Wang and Shin Yi Lin.
The victors will be filling the three four-year terms currently held by Miller, Ayesha Hamilton and Yingchao “YZ” Zhang. Both Yang and Hamilton opted not to run for reelection.
Mandel (2,711) received the most votes, followed by Stevens (2,576), Gawas (2,456), Wang (2,322), Miller (2,174) and Lin (2,140). There were 6 write-in votes cast.
In terms of percentages, the breakdown was Mandel, 18.85%, Stevens, 17,91%, Gawas, 17.07%, Wang, 16.14%, Miller, 15.11% and Lin, 14.88 percent.
Miller’s defeat was unexpected. She has been a veritable fixture on township council since West Windsor changed to the current mayor-council form of government in the early 1990s. She was elected to the governing body a total of four times and served from 1992-99; 2001-05, and since 2016.
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In Plainsboro, both Democratic incumbents on township committee were running unopposed for three-year seats. Ed Yates received 1,910 votes and David Bander got 1,872.
Yates has been a member of Plainsboro Township Committee since 1998 and has lived in town since 1986 in The Gentry with his wife, Blanche. Bander has served on Committee since 2013. He and his wife, Heather Taylor, live in Princeton Collection.
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Meanwhile, Incumbents were defeated in both towns in the WW-P School Board election. In Plainsboro, current board member Yu “Taylor” Zhong (777) was defeated by newcomer Robin Zovich (1,099).
Earlier this year Zhong was censured by the state School Ethics Commission for publicly releasing a student’s confidential information to a family member. The information subsequently became public.
In West Windsor, slatemates Louisa Ho, an incumbent, and her running mate Graelynn McKeown defeated incumbent Carol Herts for two three-year terms on the board.
Ho (2,862) received 34.76% of the vote. McKeown (2,702) with 32.82% of the vote narrowly beat Herts (2,640) who got 32.06%. There were 30 write-in votes cast in the race.
Herts is finishing her first three-year term on the board. Her term expires Dec. 31.