Incumbent council members cruise to reelection

IRVINGTON, NJ — After the polls closed Tuesday, May 10, the results were tallied and Mayor Tony Vauss’ Team Irvington Strong social and political organization easily won re-election.

According to Municipal Clerk Harold Wiener’s office, of 31,635 registered voters in Irvington, only 2,335 cast votes in the election on Tuesday, May 10. South Ward Councilwoman Sandy Jones trounced her upstart opponent Al-Tariq Shabazz, 697 votes to 310; North Ward Councilman David Lyons sailed to victory against Cathy Southerland, 413 votes to 139; and West Ward Councilman Vern Cox outmatched Irvington NAACP President Merrick Harris 394 to 89. East Ward Councilman Paul Inman ran unopposed, netting 282 of 286 votes cast in his ward of 8,062 registered voters.

None of the Team Irvington Strong victors could be reached for comment about their victories on election night, but prior to the polls opening May 10, Vauss said he hoped the lack of strong challengers in the ward election race was a good sign for this year’s races.

However, he said it would have been nice if all the Team Irvington Strong candidates had run unopposed, as Inman did. That was also the case in the Irvington Board of Education election on Tuesday, April 19, when the slate of incumbents, including Richard Williams, Joe Sylvain and Luis Antilus, backed by Team Irvington Strong, faced no opposition.

“Hopefully, I think it means that people appreciate the work that we’re doing and that they see that they really have people out here trying to make Irvington better,” said Vauss on Thursday, March 5. “I think the council members that are up for re-election have done such a tremendous job and I think you judge a person’s character by the work that he or she does and they’ve done some tremendous work over the past two years and we’re just looking forward to the challenge.”

Earlier this year, during Wiener’s drawing for the ballot position in the council ward seat race, he said it “was, is and always will be Line A or Team Irvington Strong all the way.” Team Irvington Strong is the successor to the old Team Irvington social and political organization that former Municipal Council President and Essex County Freeholder D. Bilal Beasley founded with Freeholder Lebby Jones.