County, Municipal Candidates Named for June Primary
No contest in local races, but former Mayor Peg Watkins is running for Freeholder
This June when votes take to the polls for the Primary election, candidates for local council positions will already be set. Instead residents can focus on who will represent the November ballot Freeholder candidates.
Among the six Republican race for the two November positions is former River Edge Mayor Margaret "Peg" Watkins. Watkins had been involved with the governing body for 22 years beginning as a Councilwoman in 1989 and then as Mayor since 1999 prior to losing her reelection campagin for Mayor last November. A certified New York City teacher in biology and mathematics, she works as a consultant to the Lehman College MTTI program, and also adjunct professor, and supervisor of student teachers at New York City high schools.
Running for reelection to the Freeholder Board is incumbent Robert Hermansen. The former Mahwah Councilman was elected to the Freeholders in 2009 and since then has served as the Chairman of both the Law and Public Safety Committee and Health Services Committee; and is on the Planning and Economic Development Committee and Labor and Personnel Committee, and serves as the Cultural and Historic Affairs Liaison to the Department of Parks.
Also in the mix is Suzanne McLoughlin of Dumont, Ciro M. Disclafani of Garfield and Frank Khoury of Edgewater for the Republican positions against Hermansen and Watkins.
Representing the Democratic line are Tracy Zur of Franklin Lakes, Steve Tanelli of North Arlington, Denise Zaft of Fair Lawn and Stephon Bouldin of Elmwood Park.
Running for two three-year terms in River Edge are Democrats Robert Levine and Vito Acquafredda, incumbent Republican Paul Cordts and his running mate Anthony Cappola. Current Councilman Johnny Porco is not seeking reelection.
Acquafredda is a long-time member of the River Dell Board of Education having served as president and vice-president of the Board. An architect by trade, he runs his private firm in town. Levine, a veteran of World War II serves as the borough's Representative to the National Organization on Disability.
Cordts was born and raised in River Edge and now runs his business Cordts Plumbing & Heating in the borough and was elected in 2009. He has served as Council President for two consecutive years. Cappola ran last November for the Council and lost by a slim 30-vote margin to Thomas Papaleo. He is an independent business owner of a successful entertainment company he founded almost 20 years ago with a Masters degree in Special Education and a Bachelors degree in History. Previously, Cappola was a parochial school teacher where he earned the distinction of Teacher of the Year from the Newark Archdiocese.
In Oradell incumbent Republicans Donna Risse Alonso and James Koth are seeking releection for two three-year terms in an uncontested race.
Alonso has been on the Council since 2007 and works as a BusinessAdministrator within the Alpine School District. Koth, the current Council President, is a member of the Oradell Volunteer Fire Department and vice president of operations for a New York-based public benefit corporation tasked with redeveloping Manhattan’s deteriorated lower west side waterfront into a public park.