UPDATE: Princeton Borough race ends in dead heat

School budgets approved in all 3 area districts

   Voters in the Princeton, West Windsor-Plainsboro and Montgomery school districts approved their budgets Tuesday, and returned most of the incumbents running for re-election to their local boards of education.
   In the Princeton Regional School District, the $54.8 million school budget was passed by a vote of 1,288-578. The budget carried by 354-148 in Princeton Borough and 934-430 in Princeton Township
   In the race for three seats on the Princeton Regional Board of Education, incumbent Frank Strasburger and challenger Michael Mostoller finished in a tie. The Rev. Strasburger received 249 votes to Mr. Mostoller’s 246 in Tuesday’s balloting, but a count of 13 absentee ballots Wednesday — eight for Mr. Mostoller and five for the Rev. Strasburger — gave each candidate a total of 254 votes.
   District officials said Wednesday they will petition the Superior Court for a recount — a standard procedure in close elections — by the end of the week or Monday. Superintendent Claire Sheff Kohn said the Princeton Regional Board of Education will reorganize Tuesday night and formally declare the contested Princeton Borough seat vacant. Dr. Kohn said she expects it will take about a week for the votes to be recounted and ceritifed.
   If the recount does not break the tie, Dr. Kohn said, the board will ask for a special election May 14, with the winner sworn in May 20.
   In Princeton Township, newcomer Walter Bliss was the top vote-getter, followed by incumbent Jeffrey Spear. They defeated incumbent Barbara Prince and challenger Catherine Knight.
   The vote totals (including absentee ballots) were:
Princeton Borough
Strasburger* 254
Mostoller 254
Princeton Township
Prince* 588
Spear* 658
Bliss 773
Knight 575
* denotes incumbent
   West Windsor-Plainsboro
   In the West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District, the margin of victory in Plainsboro was large enough to overcome the margin of defeat in West Windsor to approve the $118.7 million budget by a vote of 1,704-1,592. The budget was defeated in West Windsor, 1,032-1,428, but passed in Plainsboro by a vote of 672-164.
   In the race for three seats on the West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional Board of Education, incumbent Stephen Smith won re-election handily, but the outcome of the second West Windsor seat was in doubt Tuesday night. Incumbent Linda Geevers held an 18-vote lead over challenger Michael Newman, but the tally did not include absentee ballots. After the absentee ballots were counted Wednesday, Ms. Geevers outpolled Mr. Newman by 36 votes.
   Trailing in the race for the West Windsor seats were Salvatore Astarita and Jaya Enamandarm.
   In Plainsboro, Patricia Bocarsly defeated Jack Greenberg for the one open seat.
   The vote totals (including absentee ballots) were:
West Windsor
Geevers* 895
Smith* 1,337
Astarita 852
Enamandarm 367
Newman 859
Bocarsly 555
Greenberg 253
   In the Montgomery School District, the $41.7 million budget was passed by a vote of 659-376.
   In the race for three seats on the Montgomery Board of Education, all three incumbents — James Logothetis, David Demme and Douglas Kling — were unopposed.
   The vote totals were:
Demme* 762
Kling* 749
Logothetis* 756
   Rocky Hill
   In Rocky Hill, the $688,229 budget was approved by a vote of 49-5. Wendy Nussner was elected to three-year term on the Rocky Hill Board of Education with 18 write-in votes. No candidates were listed on the ballot.