EAST ORANGE, NJ — According to the Essex County Clerk’s Office website, East Orange City Council Chairman and 3rd Ward Councilman Ted Green became the city’s new mayor-elect on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 7, with 99.89 percent of the total votes cast.
Green received 10,365 votes and ran unopposed, sweeping to victory with 97 percent of the votes in the Democratic Party primary on Tuesday, June 6. County records show there were only 11 write-in votes for people other than Green.
“We’re still trying to find out who those 11 write-ins were,” Green joked at his Election Night victory party at the Par 440 Clubhouse at the East Orange Golf Course. “We had a fantastic election today across the board, from our governor to our lieutenant governor and on the local level. We’re just really honored to be part of the process and that people came out and participated in an election that was important to the state of New Jersey and, on the local level, we’re just very honored. It’s a privilege to be working on behalf of the 65,000 people that reside in the city of East Orange and I’m looking forward to being the CEO, but mostly to working with 10 City Council members that understand we’re all about good government.”
Green will take the oath of office Jan. 1, 2018, and he won’t be alone; the entire Green Team in 2017 slate of running mates was elected as well, with Bergson Leneus defeating fellow registered Democrat Mayme Robinson by a 3-1 margin to become next 3rd Ward councilman.
According to county records, Green Team in 2017 incumbents who ran unopposed also had strong Election Day numbers. 1st Ward Councilman Chris James got 99.75 percent of the votes with 2,416 with six write-ins; 2nd Ward Councilman Romal Bullock got 100 percent of the vote with 1,505 votes; 4th Ward Councilwoman Tyshammie Cooper got 99.93 percent of the votes with 1,517 votes and one write-in; and 5th Ward Councilwoman Alicia Holman got 99.81 percent of the votes with 2,056 votes and four write-ins.
In the 3rd Ward council race, Leneus beat Robinson with 1,962 votes, or 77.46 percent, compared to Robinson’s 570 votes, or 22.5 percent. There was one write-in vote cast in the 3rd Ward.
“The 3rd Ward, we always do our thing and the record numbers spoke volumes. We are not Mickey Mouse. I just became the first-ever Haitian-American elected to the East Orange City Council,” said Leneus on Tuesday, Nov. 7, at the Green Team in 2017 victory party. “I’m so excited, I’m super excited, and I’m so proud of the effort that people put out. We won with a resounding victory. The people came out in the primary election and the people came out in the general election and I think this sends a strong message to everyone that we are here and we’re only going to get stronger. I promise you that.”
Leroy Jones, chairman of both the East Orange and Essex County Democratic committees, chalked up the Green Team in 2017’s overwhelming victory to voter turnout, but he said it was also a reflection of the strength of the candidates themselves, not just because they were on Line A on the ballot, along with Governor-elect Phil Murphy.
“It’s a testimony to Ted’s reach, his relationships, how people feel about him. He wasn’t a hard sell anywhere,” said Jones on Thursday, Nov. 9, at Green’s press conference, announcing the formation of his official transition team. “The community came together as one family and that one family will continue to grow. This is a big tent and we want as many members of the family under that big tent and we’re going to go out and encourage people to come out and be a part of this mission to continue the progress in the city of East Orange that clearly needs some issues … addressed.
“East Orange has become its own melting pot and, as much as we celebrate the history of Sheila Oliver as becoming the first African-American woman lieutenant governor in the state’s history, we also have our own history-making with Berg Leneus. We’re keeping the dream alive and hope alive.”