Voters will go to the polls today, likely in very small numbers and using paper ballots, to elect Fire Commissioners and approve fire budgets in a more than 25 municipalities throughout the state. In many towns, Fire Commissioners are paid positions. Polls are typically open from 2PM to 9PM, and most contests are unopposed.
The premier Fire Commissioner race is in Woodbridge, where former Council President and Republican Municipal Chairman Kenneth Gardner hopes to restart his political career as a District 1 Fire Commissioner. Gardner, who sought the GOP nomination for Congress in 2000 and lost bids for local office, is hoping that the Fire Commissioner seat might help him return to public office or enhance his ability to get a state job if a Republican is elected Governor. He faces Ryan Horvath, a young fire captain who has been visiting voters door-to-door.
Republican County Committee in Hunterdon and Warren County are meeting today to elect a new Assemblyman from the 23rd district. Hunterdon Freeholders Matthew Holt and Erik Peterson, and Warren Freeholder John DiMaio, are vying to fill the vacant seat created when Marcia Karrow moved up to the State Senate earlier this month.
And in Union County, Republicans will hold the first-in-the-state gubernatorial convention to award the organization line for the June primary. Former U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie is favored to win, and former Bogota Mayor Steven Lonegan is likely to finish second. The real race is for third place between five-term Assemblyman Rick Merkt and Brian D. Levine, the Mayor of Franklin Township.
Other towns with Fire Commissioner elections include: Monroe, Gloucester Township, East Amwell, Hamilton, Pine Hill, Lower, Montville, Ocean, Lambertville, Tinton Falls, Little Egg Harbor, Brick, Florence, Winslow, Old Bridge, Montgomery, Neptune, Jackson, Plumsted, Voorhees, Moorestown, Tabernacle, Plainsboro and Bedminster.