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Spotlight on Tuesday’s Elections

With the November 2015 election upon us, the following are some candidates to watch:

Bergenfield: Mayor

Democratic two-term Councilwoman Ora Kornbluth is looking to become the town’s first female mayor. Kornbluth served on the town zoning and planning boards before her election to the Borough Council in 2010. She is also the business director at Yeshivat He’Atid.

Kornbluth is challenging incumbent Norman Schmelz, who has been the borough’s mayor since 2013. Schmelz, GOP incumbant, firmly believes in the importance of bipartisanship and checks and balances to keep local government strong.

Fair Lawn: Council

Marc Zharnest is running for council in his first bid for public office. As a lifelong Fair Lawn resident, he has a proven commitment to the town. He has volunteered for its emergency services, worked on numerous committees, founded a local softball team and held leadership positions at his synagogue, Shomrei Torah. As told to the Jewish Link in April, “I believe in this town,” he said, emphasizing how he wants to give back to the town that has given him so much.

New Milford: Council

Matthew Seymour is an attorney who has volunteered for over six years for low-income women who have been victims of domestic violence. He seeks to stabilize property taxes, improve recreational fields, improve services and preserve residents’ quality of life.

Running alongside Seymour is Mel Urena, who believes in a “better, stronger and safer New Milford.” He wants to improve and protect the town’s future by improving its recreational fields, preserving the safety of its residents and keeping taxes down.

Teaneck: Board of Education

David Gruber is running for reelection on his commitment to “ACT”—academic achievement, collaboration and taxes. He strongly believes the town’s taxes are too high and feels it is imperative to work to lower them.

West Orange: Board of Education

Irv Schwarzbaum is running for the Board of Education, believing that joining the board is the best way for him to have a positive effect on the township. He is an active member of Congregation AABJ&D who feels education is paramount for our children’s futures, and seeks to improve standardized test scores in order to keep the township on par with comparable districts throughout the state.

Bergen County: Freeholder

Incumbent Democrat Tracy Zur had an extensive legal background within the county prior to joining the Board of Freeholders. She has been an active member of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey as a Women’s Philanthropy Board member. She is focused on the importance of continuing to pay down the county’s debt to maintain its AAA bond rating.

State: 37th Legislative District Assembly

Democratic Assembly member Valerie Vainieri Huttle, of Englewood, is running for reelection. She was first elected in 2005 and is a former Bergen County freeholder. Huttle is deeply committed to advocating for vulnerable populations in the state. For example, she helped stop a Christie adminstration plan to return developmentally disabled individuals living in out-of-state facilities to New Jersey, regardless of the move’s effect on their lives.

Also running for reelection is Democratic Assembly member Gordon Johnson, also of Englewood. He was first elected in 2001, prior to which he was a police officer and county undersheriff. Johnson joins Huttle in supporting legislation to make the Port Authority more transparent and to give the public more information on oil trains traveling through the county.

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