IRVINGTON / ORANGE, NJ — On May 10, voters in Irvington and Orange headed to the polls for municipal elections. In both towns, voters overwhelmingly supported incumbents. In Irvington, Mayor Tony Vauss won reelection, as did his running mates and Irvington Municipal Council incumbents Renee Burgess, Charnette Frederic and October Hudley. In Orange, City Council incumbents Tency Eason, Jamie Summers-Johnson and Kerry Coley rewon their seats for the North, South and East wards, respectively. Newcomer Quantavia Hilbert won the West Ward seat against a slate of challengers; the incumbent, Councilman Harold Johnson, did not run for reelection.
These results have now been certified by County Clerk Chris Durkin and include results from in-person, mail-in and provisional ballots.
In the North Ward election in Orange, Eason received 199 votes, or 62.78 percent. Challenger Sharief Williams garnered 82 votes, or 25.87 percent, and Kami Willis received 36 votes, or 11.36 percent.
In the South Ward, Summers-Johnson retakes her seat with 419 votes, or 49.64 percent. Challenger James Ward III came in a fairly close second with 348 votes, or 41.23 percent, while challenger Lynval James was a distant third with 77 votes, or 9.12 percent.
In Orange’s East Ward, Coley garnered 280 votes, or 50.82 percent. Fatimah Turner put in an impressive showing with 222 votes, or 40.29 percent. Tyrone Tarver received only 49 votes, or 8.89 percent.
In the city’s West Ward, Hilbert took a decisive lead with 299 votes, or 62.82 percent. The other challengers did not fare as well: Genora Jenkins received 114 votes, or 23.95 percent; Jonathan Beckford received 54 votes, or 11.34 percent; and Mohamed Toure received just nine votes, or 1.89 percent.
In the Orange election, only 2,219 ballots were cast. With 18,363 registered voters in Orange, that means that only 12.08 percent of voters turned out for this election.
In the Irvington mayoral election, Vauss crushed challenger Paul Inman, a former Irvington councilman. Vauss received 3,683 votes, or 80.82 percent, while Inman received 874 votes, or 19.18 percent.
In the Irvington Municipal Council election, six candidates ran for just three open seats; the three incumbents defeated the three challengers, Yasmina King, Allison Morris and Durrell Watford. Burgess received the most votes with 3,178, or 25.66 percent; Hudley came in second with 3,112 votes, or 25.13 percent; and Frederic received 3,055 votes, or 24.67 percent. King came in fourth with 1,125 votes, or 9.08 percent; Morris came fifth with 987 votes, or 7.97 percent; and Watford came last with 928 votes, or 7.49 percent.
In the Irvington election, only 4,591 ballots were cast. With 33,004 registered voters in Irvington, that means that only 13.91 percent of voters turned out for this election.
“Words cannot begin to express my gratitude and appreciation for your support and confidence in selecting me to represent you as your mayor,” Vauss said in a May 16 press release. “I am humbled and honored to once again be given this incredible opportunity. Many have asked what it feels like to be reelected as mayor of Irvington. Let me assure you that this role is not about me — it is about you, the residents and taxpayers of Irvington. It is about working together.
“I am thrilled that I was reelected with three honorable women, Council President Renee Burgess, First Vice President Dr. October Hudley and Second Vice President Charnette Frederic,” he continued. “Each of them brings a different skill set, passion and background to the table. I know them each personally and can assure you that they love this community and will continue to work diligently for you. I decided to run again for the same reason I sought to become mayor in the first place, and that is to share my desire to make the township I love a great place to live.
“During my campaign I was able to see things about our township that made me incredibly proud and some things that were also concerning. We have more work to do. There are areas of this town that need more attention. There are relationships with various agencies that need work. We will focus on these issues. I look forward to involving the talent of our youth and seniors of this township in roles of leadership. We all have a responsibility to be ready to serve. It’s a fabric of individual talents and skills that weave together in a way that will help us build a bright future,” he added. “I pledge to you that I will do my absolute best to represent you, hear you, and work with and for you. My drive for this community is still the same. My appreciation for being able to work is still the same. My hopes and dreams of who we can become collectively are still the same. So please, remember, I’m just like you: a resident who just wants to make a difference for the good of us all. Thank you for giving me that opportunity. It is an honor.”