NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—For the second year in a row, three of school board’s nine members are coasting to another term on the board with no opposition in the April 21 election.
Incumbents Edward Spencer, Franchesca Rodriguez, and Ronald Hush were the only three people to submit their names for election as of the March 3 deadline.
Of the three, only Hush had been previously elected to his seat on the board, which changed from entirely Mayor-appointed to directly elected in 2012.
Hush was elected in the first-ever New Brunswick school board election, defeating two candidates including one who dropped out of the race.
That election was marred by errors made by district officials and the Middlesex County Clerk, as we reported, giving an unfair advantage to Hush and his running mate, Diana Fajardo, who left the board after just one year.
The lack of opposition follows an alarming trend. Mayor James Cahill ran unopposed in both primary and general elections for the first time in his record seven terms last year, while none of the City Council members faced opponents on either ballot in their most recent elections.
Only four of the board’s nine members will have won a contested election. In every case, candidates supported by the Cahill political machine have prevailed.
Each year, three seats on the school board are up for election in April, along with a public vote on the district’s annual budget.
The board will soon be making one of its most important decisions in recent history selecting a Superintendent to lead the district after current Superintendent Richard Kaplan retires this summer.
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.