At the Republican Caucus in Newark on Tuesday Night (8/12/14), 200+ participants perservered for nearly 3 hours to await the outcome of voting. Both town and village positions were open for nominations. At just after 6:30 the Caucus for the Town seats (1-Justice, 1-Council seat, and 1-Highway Superintendent seat) got underway. That portion of the Caucus ran about 15 minutes. The outcome was that Richard VanLaeken won the nomination for the 1 year vacancy for Town Council (left open after the passing of Gary McIlwain). Dan Pullen who has been the interim Highway Superintendent was nominated for the remaining term of Dave Harden, who retired). No one was nominated by the Republicans for the open seat (of retiring Justice Michael Miller) for a 4 year term for Town Justice. VanLaeken vowed to do his best in retaining the seat to which he was appointed after McIlwain’s death. Pullen received much support and praise from those he has worked with him as Deputy Highway Superintendent for years.
Following a break in the proceedings, Village residents signed in for their Caucus. Up for grabs were the seats of two retiring Trustees (Helen Blandino and John Zornow), Village Justice, and Mayor (4 year term). The outcome of the Mayor’s race was highly anticipated, and kept the crowd in attendance until the end, if not always with patience. As Chairman Paul Cole, who ran the caucus, explained, ‘There is a process that must be followed, with signing in and verified registration, and the actual balloting and counting. He thanked everyone for their patience and understanding.
In the end, the 2 village trustees seat were filled by Stu Blodgett and Bob Bendix. No one was nominated for the Village Justice seat. The mayor’s race for the Republican nomination came down to 5 votes (88 to 83) but was ultimately won by retiring Trustee John Zornow, over Trustee Jonathan Taylor, who will retain his seat on the Village board.
Congratulations were gracious following the outcome and both Mayoral candidates vowed to work side by side on the Board. Bob Bendix, who received the nomination for a trustee seat, said he was “relieved that it was over” and was very grateful to his family, friends and the voters for the privilege. Stu Blodgett was not able to be present at the caucus, due to a work commitment, but his wife Julie accepted his nomination gratefully on his behalf. Alan Schober, who also was nominated for a Trustee seat, but lost, thanked those who had supported him and indicated that he may step up to run for political office again.
John Zornow, the Republican nominee for Mayor this fall, was delighted with the outcome. He reiterated that he will make the position a full time 24/7 job and have an open door policy. He vowed to allowed Trustees to give their input on agenda items and budget decisions. John was especially grateful to many of the senior citizens who came out to support him and remained until the end of the very long proceedings.
The Arcadia/Newark Democrats will hold their caucus on August 21st at 7 pm at the American Legion hall in Newark, to present their late of nominees for town and village vacant seats.
Pictured are: Nominees Bob Bendix for Village Trustee, John Zornow for Mayor, and Republican Chairman Paul Cole.