HILLSIDE – Independent mayoral candidate Joe Menza, an unsuccessful candidate in 2005, today claimed victory over the local Democratic Party machine.
The Union County Board of Electionsthis afternooncounted the provisional ballots in the Hillside mayoral contest and determined that real estate developer Menza defeated At-Large Councilman Jerome Jewell in the runoff by eight votes.
The final tally, scheduled to be certified tomorrow, is 1,710 to 1,702.
"We had a team of volunteers that was unstoppable," Menza said."As we kept going in this campaign it was truly a community effort. We were very successful at identifying (Councilwoman Shelley) Bates and (former School Board Member Andre) Daniels supporters and making sure they came on board with us. This was a total community effort."