Venezia and Democrats sweep into office

BLOOMFIELD, NJ — Incumbent Bloomfield Mayor Michael Venezia and his Democratic slate swept to an easy victory in the mayoral and council elections on Tuesday, Nov. 8. According to the Essex County Clerk’s Office, with 97 percent of the votes counted, the uncertified results have Venezia winning re-election to a second term with 12,113 votes, or 72.6 percent; Republican challenger Dave Tucker had 4,023 votes, or 21.1 percent; and independent Richard Galioto Sr., 525 votes, or 3.1 percent. There were 18 write-ins.

In the council seat elections, incumbent Nina Davis won a second term with 10,734 votes, or 23.8 percent; incumbent Carlos Pomares also won a second term, with 10,564 votes, or 23.4 percent; and challenger Ted Gamble had 10,561 votes, or 23.4 percent.

The GOP hopefuls made up the bottom half of the results with Ciro Spina III receiving 4,470, or 9.9 percent; Caesar Mazzeo Sr., 4,381 votes, or 9.7 percent; and Hector Correa, 4,377, 9.7 percent. There were 19 write-ins. All seats are for three years.

“I saw 72 percent,” Venezia said in a telephone interview as results neared their final tally. “I’m not surprised. It was not a short campaign. The results tell me that Bloomfield is moving in the right direction. The voters felt that way.”
This year’s presidential election brought out more voters, as anticipated, and the Democrats benefited by that. In 2013, Venezia won with 59 percent of a total of 10,161 votes cast.

Venezia said he and his slate will be starting quickly.
“We’re meeting tomorrow with the department heads and Matt Watkins to see where they feel they fell short in 2016 and their goals for 2017,” he said. “One of my goals is to concentrate on finances and that we’re trending in the right direction.”

Matt Watkins is the township administrator.
Venezia said additional goals include townwide WiFi hookup capabilities and exploring the possibility of the business administrator for the school district also acting as the purchasing agent for the municipality.

“The more shared services with the school district, the town wins,” he said.