Township Republicans Claim Victory, Challenger Says 'Wait'
As of Tuesday night, 350 votes separated GOP incumbent Bruce Sisler from Democrat challenger Ron Goldberg.
In Morris Township, at least one sitting committeeman will retain his place on the dais. Both Republicans and Democrats seemed to agree on that.
As for the second seat available, that one was not quite so cut and dried by the end of Election Night.
While Republican H. Scott Rosenbush will enter his 17th year as a Morris Township committeeman having clearly taken the most votes with 5,903, his running mate and fellow GOP member Bruce Sisler was separated by Democrat and former committeeman Ron Goldberg by only 350 votes, 5,387 to 5,037. Fellow Democrat Judy Stein, who stepped in for the ticket after Lori Robinson dropped out earlier this year, garnered 4,917 votes.
Still the Republicans felt comfortable enough with Sisler's lead over at the county GOP party at The Side Bar to declare him the winner of a second three-year term.
"We feel it's probably too large a lead to overcome," Rosenbush said. "Bruce and I are both grateful. I'm blessed, I'm honored to work on behalf of the residents of Morris Township."
Sisler, currently serving as Deputy Mayor in the township, said issues such as township-provided services weighed heavily on voter decision to return the two committeemen. He noted there had been a period when the campaign had become "sidetracked," citing the Honeywell issue. That ultimately led to the Republican-majority committee approving the company to rezone its 147-acre property to allow for development.
Sisler, in particular, had made headlines as the issue played out, calling a vocal opponent of the rezoning late at night. He later apologized.
Meanwhile, across the street at Morris County Democratic Committee Headquarters, Goldberg—who sat on the committee from 2008 through 2010—said provisional ballots could turn the tide in his favor. He said he believed at least 200 of those votes were for his election, leaving only a margin of 150 between he and Sisler.
"I think it means there's an election on for a couple more weeks," he said. "I think it's amazing how close we have come. A 150-vote difference out of 6,000 votes."
If the margin continues to shrink after all votes are counted, Goldberg did not rule out challenging the ruling in court. "I'm not ruling anything out at this point," he said.
It was a much more easily decided election night over in Morris Plains. There, a pair of unopposed Republican incumbents, Joseph Cecala Jr. and Laurie Fu, received 1,893 and 1,862 votes, respectively.