NUTLEY – A car pulls up in front of the VFW Building on Washington and Commissioner Carmen Orechio emerges from the passenger side.
“Hey, Carmen!” comes a familiar cry.
The former state senate president is well known in New Jersey.
But everybody knows him in Nutley, where the 84-year oldhas served for 40 years on the Board of Commissioners.
Winning this election tonight gives Orechio, a former three-time mayor,a shot at surpassing Harry Chenoweth as Nutley’s longest serving commissioner since the town fathers established the form of governmenthere in 1912.
Chenowith also put in 40 years.
Orechio knows the advantage incumbent commisioners have in Nutley and moving between polling places heis confident about his re-election.
“I feel real good,” Orechio says. “I want to continue my work as the commissioner of public safety. I want to upgrade our traffic signals.”
The cry comes again across the parking lot.
Another Nutley voter.
He waves back.
“Hey, Carmen, you look good,” says a man heading into the VFW Building.
Serving as Orechio’s campaign manager, Assemblyman Fred Scalara (D-Belleville) says he needs to keep the commissioner moving, and soamid shouts of encouragement in the parking lot of the VFW, Orechiokeepsgoing.