This November, three seats on Fair Lawn’s town council will be up for grabs. As the municipality with the largest population in LD38, the local race—which includes the mayor’s seat—may increase voter turnout numbers in a low turnout election year.
In November’s LD38 race, Republican Assembly candidates Anthony Cappola and Mark DiPisa hope to unseat incumbent Democrats Joe Lagana and Tim Eustace.
In Fair Lawn, Republican Mayor John Cosgrove and Democratic councilmembers Lisa Swain and Kurt Peluso are all running to reclaim their positions on the council. Running with Cosgrove are Republicans John Gil and Marc Zharnest (the Cosgrove Team). Running with the Democrats is Ellen Taner.
Once the council is elected, in accordance with Fair Lawn’s form of government, a mayor will be selected by councilmembers from among their ranks.
“Our local ticket will hopefully get people involved,” said Cosgrove when asked if he believes that the race in his town will boost turnout numbers in LD38 as a whole.
According to Assemblyman Eustace, the mayoral races in Fair Lawn and other towns throughout the district will help encourage voters to cast ballots.
“A mayor’s race will help with voter turnout in Fair Lawn,” Eustace said. “The more people who turn out to vote the better.”
According to Cosgrove, the large population of Fair Lawn (over 33,000) makes the town a critical tipping point in the upcoming LD38 election.
“I think it is a key to victory for both sides,” said Cosgrove.
Though Cosgrove is a Republican and has been serving as mayor since 2013, Eustace said he does not believe that the democratic assembly ticket will be negatively impacted.
“I do not think it will hurt our chances,” Eustace said.
According to Cosgrove—who has endorsed Cappola and DiPisa—if the Republicans maintain a majority on the Fair Lawn Council and he is reelected, he will once again be mayor.
“My two running mates have made it clear that if I am running, I will stay the mayor,” Cosgrove said. According to Cosgrove, the deputy mayors Amy Lefkowitz and Daniel Dunay also support his return to the mayor’s position.