Primary has one contested race in West Amwell

Nance Palladino and Betty Jane Hunt are in a heated battle for the one available seat on the Township Committee.

By: Mae Rhine
   Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Tuesday’s primary.
   The only contested race on the local level is in West Amwell where incumbent Nance Palladino is facing Republican challenger Betty Jane Hunt for the Republican nomination.
   Ms. Hunt, 62, is a former longtime township clerk who retired in December.
   Ms. Palladino, 52, has served three terms on the council, two consecutive terms from 1993 to 1998 and one term since 2000. She also is in her second year of a three-year term on the Hunterdon County Board of Chosen Freeholders.
   The battle between the two women is bitter. Both agree on the need to preserve open space and keep municipal taxes low, but the two are sharply divided on outlook and methods.
   Ms. Hunt’s main concern is Ms. Palladino’s role as freeholder, which she says is "serving two masters" and not good for West Amwell.
   Ms. Palladino disagrees strongly, saying she "goes to bat" for the township on a county level.
   Voting in the township will take place at the municipal building at 150 Rocktown-Lambertville Road.
   On the state level, Frank Fuzo, former Lambertville mayor and a freeholder, faces five other Republican candidates, including incumbent Michael J. Doherty, in a contested GOP primary for a chance to represent the 23rd District in the state Assembly.
   The other candidates looking to win GOP nominations for the two open Assembly seats are Hunterdon County Freeholder Marcia A. Karrow of Raritan Township; Warren County Freeholder John DiMaio of Hackettstown; Bloomsbury Borough Mayor Mark Peck; and Washington Borough Deputy Mayor Susan Wagner-Glaser.
   Only two Democrats are seeking their party’s nomination for the two seats — Clinton Township Councilwoman Janice L. Kovach, who serves on the Highlands Planning Council, and Scott McDonald, a former Washington Borough mayor and councilman.
   The 23rd District comprises Warren County plus all municipalities in Hunterdon County except two, Califon and Tewksbury Township.
   In Lambertville, both candidates for two three-year terms on the City Council are Democrats. No Republicans filed to run in the primary.
   John McManus, 55, is a longtime member of the City Council who has served several terms as council president. He has been on the council since 1983 when the former three-person City Commission form of government was changed to a five-member council.
   He is seeking re-election to his eighth consecutive three-year term.
   Ms. McManus is employed as manager of retail information systems for Amerada Hess Corp.
   Cynthia Ege is seeking re-election to her third three-year term. As a councilwoman, she has been involved in the negotiation of police contracts. She also has written two grant proposals and aided with a third, bringing in more than $467,000 to the city.
   She also organized the Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee, which works on improvements to aid pedestrians, bicyclists and ADA conformity.
   In addition, Mrs. Ege designed and advertised an ad booklet for the city’s Sesquicentennial Committee, commemorating Lambertville’s 150th anniversary.
   Mrs. Ege is employed by the Newgrange School as assistant to the executive director.
   She has served on the Lambertville Sewerage Authority since 2000. From 1999 to 2000, she was a member of the Hunterdon County Municipal Officers Association as president and vice president.
   From 1993 to 2000, she was a member of the Lambertville Planning Board, serving as its secretary from 1993 to 1996.
   She participates in breast cancer research. In September, she will be taking part in Breast Cancer 3-Day, a 60-mile walk to raise funds for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
   Voting in Lambertville takes place at the YMAC on Wilson Street for the 1st and 2nd Wards and at Columbia firehouse on North Union Street for the 3rd Ward.
   In Stockton, Democrat Neal Esposito and Republican Constance Bassett are seeking re-election to the two three-year terms on the Borough Council. They are running unopposed in their respective party primaries and will face each other in the general election this fall.
   Mr. Esposito was elected to the council in 2002 and previously had spent 13 years on the council.
   Ms. Bassett has been a Stockton resident since 1983. She was elected to the council in 2002 for her first term.
   Ms. Bassett has partnered with her husband to run Moorland Studios Inc., which conserves public monuments and privately owned sculptures. They also fabricate museum cases, railings and lighting.
   "I ran for council three yeas ago because I believed Stockton was at a dangerous crossroad of developing one of the last open space parcels of land for cluster housing," she said. "I ran because I wanted to be in a position to find better solutions. I am interested in sound long-term choices that preserve the character of Stockton. I was honored to be a member of council and will continue to take the responsibility seriously if the town chooses to reelect me."
   Voting in the borough takes place at the Stockton firehouse on Mill Street.
Staff Writer Linda Seida contributed to this article.