BY JAIMIE JULIA WINTERS
A portion of the mail-in ballots in Montclair’s 2020 municipal election have been counted, with Sean Spiller taking the lead in the mayoral race against Renee Baskerville as of tonight, May 12, according to the Essex County clerk’s office.
Out of 7,639 votes for mayor being counted as of 9 p.m. Tuesday, Spiller held a 430-vote lead, having received 4,027 votes (52.72 percent) to Baskerville’s 3,577 (46.83 percent).
Due to the pandemic and state of emergency, the polls were closed to voters for the first time in history and votes could only be conducted through mail-in ballots postmarked no later than today, May 12.
Numbers reported by the county will change as the remaining ballots come in over the next few days. The final votes will be tallied up until May 14 as allowed by law, said Essex County Clerk Christopher Durkin. Final totals are expected to be announced on Friday, May 15.
In the elections for Montclair’s six Township Council seats, the current leaders are a mix of the candidate slates headed by Spiller and Baskerville, with four members of Spiller’s “Montclair 2020 Progress in Action” slate ahead, along with two members of Baskerville’s “Your Voice Montclair” team.
In the race for two council-at-large seats, of the 14,827 votes cast, Peter Yacobellis (Your Voice) and Bob Russo (Montclair 2020) are the current leaders, with 3,728 and 3,640 votes, respectively. They are followed by Roger Terry (Montclair 2020) at 3,381, James Cotter (Your Voice) at 2,957 and independent candidate Carmel Loughman at 1,098.
With 2,043 votes counted for the First Ward council seat, incumbent William Hurlock (Montclair 2020) garnered 1,246, while John Hearn (Your Voice) took in 795.
For Second Ward, with 2,133 ballots counted, incumbent Robin Schlager (Montclair 2020) received 1,251 votes, while Christina ”Chrissy” Thomas (Your Voice) received 876.
In the Third Ward election, Lori Price Abrams (Montclair 2020) garnered 963 votes, while Maggie Joralemon (Your Voice) received 729 with 1,698 votes counted so far.
David Cummings (Your Voice) will be Montclair’s next Fourth Ward councilman; he ran unopposed and has received 1,365 votes thus far.
Voters voted for mayor, two council-at large positions, and one council position depending on their address.