New face emerges in primary

By Linda Seida, Staff Writer
   There are no contests in the local primary June 3, but there is a new face on Lambertville’s political scene, and two former rivals in West Amwell square off in preparation for the November election.
   In Lambertville, two Democrats are running for the two open seats on the City Council. Each term is for three years.
   Beth Asaro of the Lambertville Public School Board of Education is running for the seat that will be vacated by longtime Councilwoman Cynthia Ege. She would have to resign from the board before becoming a member of the council.
   Ms. Asaro, 49, a 12-year city resident, grew up in Hopewell Borough where her father was a councilman. She is a chief of staff at AT&T and for three years was the public relations manager for the Women of AT&T in New Jersey.
   She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Douglass College at Rutgers University. Her community service includes two years as the secretary of the elementary school PTA. She and her partner, Joanne Schailey, have a daughter who attends the elementary school.
   Ms. Asaro’s running mate is three-year Councilman Ronald Pittore, whose father served as mayor of Lambertville.
   Mr. Pittore, 62, is seeking his second term in office. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pa., and a law degree from Rutgers University. He was admitted to the bar in 1972.
   In West Amwell, Republican Tom Molnar is angling for the seat on the Township Committee held by Democrat Ron Shapella. The term is for three years.
   Mr. Molnar defeated Mr. Shapella in 2004 by just 11 votes. That was the first time a township election was decided by provisional ballots.
   Mr. Shapella, 54, is the program director at the New Jersey Charter Public Schools Association. He has about 30 years of experience as a communications professional, having worked in journalism, public relations and government affairs.
   He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Glassboro State College.
   Mr. Shapella first served on the committee in 2004 by appointment to fill an unexpired term. Voters returned him to office in the 2005 election.
   Mr. Molnar, 56, has been a teacher for more than 30 years. He is employed by the Burlington County Institute of Technology.
   He serves on the Parks and Recreation Committee and the Country Fair Committee. He also has volunteered with the South Hunterdon Regional High School Booster Club and the South County soccer team.
   In Stockton, two three-year terms are open on the Borough Council, but only one incumbent has filed for re-election.
   Democrat Neal Esposito was elected to the council in 2002. He previously served 13 years on the council.
   Democrat Constance Bassett is not seeking a return to the council. No one has filed to run for her seat in the primary.
   Also, Democrat Andrew Dougherty, 47, is unchallenged for the two-year unexpired term left by the resignation of Brian Hurff. Mr. Dougherty was sworn in to the council seat in February, but now he must win the remainder of the term by election.
   He previously served on Stockton Public School Board of Education. He also has served on the Planning Board.
   Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
   In Lambertville, voters in Wards 1 and 2 may cast their ballots at the YMAC on Wilson Street. Voters in Wards 3-1 and 3-2 will cast their ballots at the Centenary United Methodist Church on North Union Street.
In West Amwell, polls are located at the municipal building at 150 Rocktown-Lambertville Road.
   In Stockton, the polls are located at the Stockton firehouse on Mill Street.