According to the township clerk's office, three of the four incumbents in May's Municipal Council election have already filed petitions weeks before the March 5 deadline.
Thus far, the trio of Deputy Mayor and Second Ward Councilman Steve Rovell, Third Ward Councilman Vincent Cozzarelli, and Fourth Ward Councilman John Notari have filed, although they can still accumulate additional signatures over the next two-plus weeks. Candidates typically gather as many signatures as possible since constituents cannot sign more than one petition.
First Ward Councilwoman Marie Strumolo Burke is expected to file soon.
Thus far, 10 candidates have pulled petitions, which is the first step toward establishing candidacy in the May 8 election, which includes all four incumbent ward councilors. Notari, Rovell, and Strumolo Burke are seeking their third terms, while Cozzarelli is seeking his first full term after being elected last November – nearly 10 months after being appointed by the Council following the passing of Paul “PJ” MacDonald.
Only Notari does not have a challenge. In the First Ward, only newcomer Joseph Coviello pulled a petition against Strumolo Burke, while former township commissioner Vincent Frantantoni did the same in the Third Ward.
Rovell is facing the most competition in the Second Ward, where Sal Carnovale, Gary Hinton, Florence Martin, and Carol Politz have each pulled petitions.
However, pulling a petition does not mean potential candidates will run this May, as evidenced by 2010 mayoral candidate Sue Citarella (Second Ward) and former Third Ward Councilman George Ritacco, who served from 2004-08, deciding not to run after all.
The terms of councilmen-at-Large Kevin G. Kennedy and Michael Nicosia extend through 2014, the same year Mayor Ray Kimble is also up for re-election should he opt to run again.