NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Thousands of workers in New Brunswick will get a raise, thanks to the 61% of New Jersey voters who approved a constitutional amendment to increase the minimum wage in yesterday’s election.
Results provided by Assistant City Clerk Leslie Zeledon show that the question passed by an even larger margin here in New Brunswick, where 80% of voters supported the $1 wage hike, which will automatically rise to account for inflation in future years.
Republican Governor Chris Christie prevailed over longtime Middlesex County politician Barbara Buono, but the State Senator from Metuchen earned 66% of New Brunswick’s votes cast to Christie’s 32%
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In every other race, including county and state legislative elections, Demcrats preserved their dominance .
Democrat Joe Egan, who was elected to a sixth term in the State Assembly, was the top vote-getter in the city with 2,566 votes cast. He once occupied a seat on the City Council for three decades, but yielded the job to his son Kevin in 2010.
Egan’s running mates Upendra Chivukula (Franklin) and Bob Smith (Piscataway) were victorious their campaigns to continue representing New Brunswick in the State Assembly and Senate, respectively.
Smith defeated Franklin Mayor Brian Levine 60%-40% according to WNYC. Egan and Chivukla prevailed by a similar margin over their challengers.
County elections for Sheriff and Freeholder were the closest. Millie Scott (Piscataway) won a second term as county sheriff by a 54%-46% margin over Jose Martinez (Perth Amboy), and the three Democratic candidates for Freeholder won by a similar margin.
Blanquita Valenti, a 79-year-old former City Councilwoman from New Brunswick who once ran on the same ticket as the elder Egan and current Mayor James Cahill, was the top vote-getter in the Freeholder race.
Valenti was running with newly-minted Freeholder Ken Armwood (Piscataway) and longtime Councilman Charles Kenny (Woodbridge).
3,654 voters casted ballots in New Brunswick yesterday for the Governor’s election, and slightly less in the other races. On the minimum wage question, just 2,779 votes were cast.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.