WEST MILFORD There will be a Republican primary on June 5 to choose council candidates as well as a full slate of county committee representatives.
This year, the Passaic County Regular Republican Organization candidates will face off with the West Milford Golden Rule Republicans.
Marilyn Lichtenberg and JoAnn Blom are the Golden Rule Republican candidates for council. They will go up against Vivienne Erk and Mike Hensley, the choices of the Passaic county Regular Republican Organization.
Lichtenberg served one term on the council and then did not get the nomination from the Regular Republican Organization two years ago. She and former mayor/councilman Glenn Wenzel lost in a primary battle in 2010. She is teaming up with Blom, a teacher in the West Milford school district. Blom ran for the nomination last year and lost.
Lichtenberg is an active volunteer in the township. She is a member of the West Milford Rotary and is the advisor to the high school's Interact club, promoting volunteerism in the community. As a councilwoman from 2008 through 2010, Lichtenberg had 100 percent attendance at council meetings and had office hours each week to meet with constituents.
Blom teaches marketing, business law and computers at West Milford High School. She is best known for directing the DECA program, a marketing program for high school students. In 1983 she was chosen as the district's teacher of the year; in 2006 she was inducted into the New Jersey Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) Marketing Hall of Fame.
Erk and Hensley are first-time candidates for the Republicans.
Erk is a 30-year resident of the township, spending 10 of them as a volunteer with the West Milford First Aid Squad. She also serves on the Zoning Board of Adjustment, the Heritage Community and is an officer in the West Milford Republican Organization. Erk has been a paralegal for over 20 years and, in a statement, said she looks forward to representing the people she has been serving on a volunteer basis.
Hensley is a 31-year resident of West Milford, spending his formative years in the West Milford school system. After graduating from Eastern Kentucky University, Hensley returned to West Milford to start his career in education in the district that inspired him to become a teacher. He also operates his own business as a personal trainer. Hensley volunteers with the West Milford heritage Committee and Sustainable West Milford.
The winners in the June primary will face the Democrats in November. David C. Ofshinsky and John D. Richards are the council candidates for the Passaic County Democratic Organization.
Both Republican groups have county committee candidates. The Regular Republicans have a full slate of candidates, while the Golden Rule Republicans are missing one candidate in each of districts 1, 7 and 12. Republicans for the Constitution and Save the US Fiscal Conservative groups have candidates in district 2 only.
Two county committee representatives are selected in each of West Milford's 13 election districts. The Democrats had their county committee election two years ago; this year the Republicans select theirs. County committee elections are once every three years. County committee members choose their municipal chairperson and their party's council and mayoral candidates.