No surprises in Highland Park, but no lack of enthusiasm – or graciousness – among the local Democratic officials who kept their seats on borough council, freeholder board and state legislature.
Among the Highland Park Borough Council candidates, incumbent Matt Hersh was the top vote-getter with 2,692 votes for his two-year unexpired term; incumbent Stephany Kim, 2,685 votes for her one year unexpired term; incumbent Josh Fine with 2,668 votes for a full three year term; incumbent Elsie Foster Dublin with 2,595 for a full three year term. Republican candidate for council, Herb Gross attracted 551 votes.
Highland Park resident Seth Kaper-Dale, who ran for governor on the Green Party ticket, attracted 1,050 votes among Middlesex County voters.
The 18th District includes seven communities in Middlesex County: East Brunswick, Edison, Helmetta, Highland Park, Metuchen, South Plainfield, and South River.
Forty-three percent of voters are registered as Democrats, 15 percent as Republicans, the remaining voters are unaffiliated.
Three Democrats representing the district all were re-elected: Sen. Patrick Diegnan Jr., a South Plainfield attorney; Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin, a former East Brunswick councilwoman, and Assemblyman Robert Karabinchak of Edison. One of the Republicans running for the Assembly seat, Zhiyu “Jimmy” Hu, is a Highland Park resident and he attracted 17 percent of the votes.
The Democratic candidates for Middlesex County offices all won: Surrogate- Kevin Hoagland, running for a sixth five-year term; Freeholder Charles E. Tomaro of Edison for a third three-year term; and Freeholder Shanti Narra of North Brunswick, now filling the unexpired term of Freeholder James Polos since October, for the remaining year of the term