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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Tomorrow at 4pm, a deadline to run in the city’s third-ever school board election will pass and so far only one candidate has announced they are running.
Due to a unique situation created by New Brunswick’s switch to an elected school board, Diana Fajardo was elected last year in a landslide, but secured only a one-year term. Typically, terms on the board last three years.
New Brunswick Today exposed several irregularities with the election that propelled her into office, and this mornng she told the newspaper she will not seek re-election.
“I will not be running in the upcoming election,” Fajardo said in a telephone interview.
After her election victory in January 2013, Fajardo was notably silent when concerns were raised over her campaign’s decision to turn in candidate petitions after the advertised deadline last year.
Two other incumbents’ terms are up as well. Emra Seawood and Dale Caldwell have never sought elected office before, but under the new system they will have to win a public vote to keep their seats on the board.
Seawood did not respond to questions about whether she will attempt to run to remain on the nine-member board.
But Caldwell is thus far the only candidate to have announced he is running for the three available seats.
Last year, in addition to the contoversial January election that sent Fajardo and her running mate Ron Hush into office, six candidates faced off for three seats in the city’s first April school election.
In the end, all three incumbents won. The challengers were Sean Monahan, the publisher of this newspaper, Stephanie Rivera, and Martin Arocho.
All three challengers confirmed today they do not plan to run in this year’s election.
Candidates for the Board of Education must be U.S citizens at least 18 years of age, and must have resided in the City of New Brunswick for at least one year.
To get on the ballot for the election, candidates must file a petition at the Board of Education office at 268 Baldwin Street by 4 pm tomorrow, with signatures of at least 10 registered voters in New Brunswick.
The election is scheduled for Wednesday April 23.
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.