Democrat Jill DeCaro defeated Republican incumbent Mark Razzoli in Tuesday’s special election for the 4th Ward Township Council seat, according to the unofficial results.
DeCaro received 838 votes, or 54.74%, while Razzoli received 693 votes, or 45.26%.
Voter turnout was 19%, according to Middlesex County.
In a Facebook post, DeCaro wrote “Good things come to those who wait, and I am overjoyed to represent Ward 4 on the Old Bridge Town Council.”
DeCaro said she is eager to make good on her promise to return the council’s focus to local issues.
“As a member of a Democratic minority on council, I pledge to work across the aisle in good faith with my Republican colleagues,” she wrote. “It is my great hope that they will in turn invite such collaboration, as whether we are building a park or paving a road, working on local issues is the true work of a town council. This is where party affiliation should bear no meaning. This is where we are one Old Bridge.”
In the November election, DeCaro was declared the winner over Razzoli by 11 votes, 1,554 to 1,543.
But on Dec. 29 McCloskey ruled that a new election should be held because of a mix-up in vote-by-mail ballots on one street.
In the appellate ruling, Judge Carmen Messano wrote that the court affirmed the Dec. 29 ruling “substantially for the reasons expressed by (McCloskey).”
Messano wrote that while the court agreed with DeCaro that some Cymbeline Drive residents have been registered in the wrong ward for several years, “as we see it, those facts, accepted as true for purposes of summary judgment, were insufficient to defeat Razzoli’s motion.”
In his decision, McCloskey said that the Middlesex County clerk “did nothing wrong here. She relied upon what was in the SRVS (Statewide Voter Registration System).”
The error can be traced to the SVRS, the judge ruled, that listed the wrong ward for the voters on the even side of the street.
McCloskey noted that because of changes in state laws, election officials at all levels of government were faced with “monumental challenges” because New Jersey was placed “in uncharted waters” and “unanticipated circumstances” prompted by the pandemic.