Pegel, Gerst win two seats on Town Council

Pegel, Gerst top vote-getters in crowded field of eight


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  • Patricia M. Gerst, left, and Andrena "Andie" Pegel both won spots on the Town Council, making it a win for Republicans for the sixth year in a row. photo provided



Republican candidates Andrena “Andie” Pegel and Patricia M. Gerst were the top vote-getters in a crowded field of eight candidates vying for two seats Tuesday on the Township Council.

In January, they each will be sworn in to serve a three-year term.

According to unofficial results provided by the Passaic County clerk’s office, Pegel got 3,099 votes, or 23.6 percent of the total, and Gerst, 3,010, or 22.93 percent.

Pegel, currently the District 2 representative of the Republican County Committee, was selected to join Gerst on the ticket after Steven Castronova withdrew his candidacy.

Incumbent Republican councilwomen Ada Erik and Marilyn Lichtenberg came in with 1,702, or 12.96 percent, and 1,823, or 13.89 percent respectively.

Erik and Lichtenberg ran as Independents after declining a Republican primary this past spring.

Also running as Independents were Robert E. Nolan, a Democrat who has previously served on the council for six years and on the Planning Board for four years.

Running with Nolan was Christopher M. Garcia, now a member of the Green Party, who have previously sought a seat on the council as a Democrat.

Nolan got 1,377 voters, or 10.49 percent, according to the latest nonofficial results. Garcia, who has served on the township’s Planning Board since 2010, got 1,253, or 9.54 percent.

The last non-Republican to sit on the council was CarlLa Horton, who served from 2012 through 2014.

Libertarians Michael Chazukow and Jonathan Salzman were the third set of Independents on the ballot.

According to the unofficial results, Chazukow came in at 453, or 3.45 percent of the vote; Salzman, with 379, or 2.89 percent.

Chazukow serves on the West Milford Economic Development Commission.

The councilwomen-elect issued the following statement after the Tuesday election.

“We are deeply humbled and truly honored by the overwhelming outpouring of support from our friends and neighbors in West Milford after our victory in yesterday’s general election. With the election now behind us, we have much work to do prior to being sworn in this coming January. Congratulations are also extended to our Republican legislators – Senator (Joe) Pennacchio, Assemblywoman (Bettylou) DeCroce, and Assemblyman (Jay) Webber – on another winning campaign and we thank them for their dedicated service to West Milford and our entire district. We are also very pleased with the nearly ten-to-one approval of the MUA sale to Suez and thank the voters for supporting such a critical initiative.

We extend our sincerest thanks to our families, friends, supporters, campaign team, and fellow West Milford residents for choosing us to serve you as Town Councilwomen. We look forward to this opportunity and will not take the responsibility that comes with it lightly.”

(Republicans Webber and DeCroce defeated Democrats Joseph R. Raich and E. William Edge in the 26th District General Assembly race. Republican Pennacchio beat Democrat Elliot Isabor in the race for state Senate in the 26th district.)

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