MAPLEWOOD, NJ — With 100 percent of the votes tallied, it is clear that the majority of Maplewood’s residents still don’t want a Republican on their Township Committee. Democratic challenger Frank McGehee won the election with an overwhelming majority, beating out Republican challenger Mike Summersgill. McGehee will fill the seat vacated recently by Marlon K. Brownlee after he moved out of Maplewood. The seat is currently being filled by Ian Grodman of the Maplewood Democratic Committee.
Election results are unofficial until verified by the Essex County clerk, Christopher J. Durkin.
According to the unofficial results, McGehee won with a whopping 7,923 votes, or 80.14 percent, while Summersgill only garnered 1,957 votes, or 19.8 percent. This election continues the trend of the past two decades in which Republican candidates have been shut out of the Maplewood Township Committee.
The county clerk recorded 1,912 undervotes, which shows the number of votes left over when voters voted in an election on the ballot other than the Maplewood Township Committee election.
There were six write-in votes.
“I feel very blessed and humbled by the opportunity to serve the wonderful community of Maplewood,” McGehee told the News-Record in a Tuesday night phone interview.
As for his main priority when he takes his seat on the committee, McGehee said he plans to “continue the conversation on pedestrian safety.”
He explained that he plans to improve on the work already begun at the Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Summit held Oct. 24 at The Woodland in Maplewood. He explained that he would like to see continued learning and implemented action items.
“We need to continue to engage our residents,” he said. “We need to foster inclusion. We need to work together to move forward to make our streets safer.”