Hardyston incumbent for over two decades facing possible upset in primary

“In November, Kristy Lavin, a Democrat who was uncontested, may cause another shake-up in Hardyston. At last check, Lavin had secured 412 primary votes.

A Republican primary race in Hardyston Township may be headed for an unusual outcome for one incumbent, who could find herself unseated after serving on the council for over two decades.

Leslie Hamilton, who is in her late 70s, has served as mayor and deputy mayor for 27 years in Hardyston. But she finds herself last in a three-way race for two council seats after a preliminary count of votes in Tuesday’s state primary.

While final provisional and mail-in ballots may not be counted for two weeks, Hamilton was trailing as of Wednesday afternoon with 343 votes. Current councilman Brian Kaminski led with 595. In second, with 431 votes, was former councilman Frank Cicerale, who Hamilton defeated in 2017.

Final results won’t be certified until July 24, according to the Sussex County Board of Elections.

A licensed real estate broker and 30-plus year member of the Hardyston Planning Board, Hamilton has been credited with supporting and helping bring major projects to the township. Among those are the approvals to construct Grand Cascades Lodge in the Crystal Springs Country Club.

In 2003, she was named Mayor of the Year during the Sussex County Economic Development Partnership’s annual recognition dinner. Hamilton was mayor as recently as last year, before handing over her duties in January to now-Mayor Stanley J. Kula.

Hardyston has two, three-year terms available this fall.

In November, Kristy Lavin, a Democrat who was uncontested, may cause another shake-up in Hardyston. At last check, Lavin had secured 412 primary votes.

A child and family therapist and local activist, Lavin ran a write-in campaign in 2019 for a seat on the Sussex County Freeholder Board, but ultimately lost to current Freeholders Sylvia Petillo and Anthony Fasano.

In another contested race, Stillwater Mayor Lisa Chammings was besting her Republican competition, Michael Stillwagon, in the race for a new three-year term. Chammings had 448 votes to Stillwagon’s 82. No Democratic candidates filed.

For two three-year terms in Hampton Township, Republican Mayor Philip Yetter, who has been in elected office for over 40 years, secured the most votes in his party’s primary with 385. David Hansen, who has served on the Hampton Committee since 1988, has tentatively secured 302 votes.

Their challenger, newcomer Edward V. Ramm Jr., has 271 votes thus far.

The Sussex County Clerk’s Office said that two residents had filed to run as independents by Tuesday’s deadline: Alfonse DeMeo in Ogdensburg and James LeDonney in Montague Township.

In the Sussex County freeholder race, the lone candidate, Republican incumbent Herb Yardley, had 10,642 votes. Yardley is seeking his second three-year term. No Democrats filed for a spot.


Source: NJ Herald, https://www.njherald.com/news/20200708/hardyston-incumbent-for-over-two-decades-facing-possible-upset-in-primary?fbclid=IwAR2KbNHs9IxLF0vHnQGlRhWX6urz2PNPZTVMd0mtjpvNgFsZS4Y_475TUz4