WEST ORANGE, NJ — And the number drops to six. West Orange resident Susan Freivald announced Sept. 7 that she is withdrawing from the race for the two open West Orange Board of Education seats.
This leaves six candidates in the race; they are: incumbents Mark Robertson and Sandra Mordecai, and challengers Chris Diaz, Tanya Atterberry, Sharon Sherman and Steve Christiano.
Freivald is pulling out in order to focus on her family; she recently learned that she and her husband are expecting their 11th child. Realizing this, according to Freivald, she feels it is important to drop out of the election, knowing that if she were to win, she would have to miss a large chunk of the budget process this spring. In her announcement, Freivald said that continuing to run while knowing this would be “irresponsible.”
Despite her withdrawal, Freivald hopes that the issues she raised in the infancy of her campaign will remain hot-button issues. Specifically, she wants the current candidates and voters to ensure that the board is held accountable for its actions and that it holds others in the district accountable for theirs.
“The board needs to be asking more questions of the superintendent,” Freivald told the West Orange Chronicle in a Sept. 8 phone interview. “I think the board is taking too much at face value.”
The election will be Tuesday, Nov. 8.