Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Council Dems Crush Challengers

Voters heavily favored three incumbent Democrats Tuesday despite their challengers’ call for return to a two-party system.

“We killed them,” said City Council President Rayland Van Blake, who won another four years as 1st Ward councilman.

“We swept the ticket locally,” 2nd & 3rd Ward Councilman Rashid Burney said.

Burney also won a full four-year term. Appointee Harold Gibson won the balance of an unexpired term to Dec. 31, 2008 for the Citywide at-large council seat.

“I think Plainfield has once again shown it can get the vote out for local as well as county and state candidates,” Van Blake said.

“It looks fine,” Burney said, calling the results a vote of confidence that is a mandate for the council to work with the administration.

“The people are saying, ‘We see the results, we like what you’re doing – keep doing what you are doing and move Plainfield forward,’ ” Burney said.

Republicans fielded Arlington Johnson against Van Blake, Angela Perun against Burney and Deborah Dowe for the citywide seat. Independent Robert Edwards also ran for the citywide at-large seat.

Of the city’s 19,327 voters, 37.8 percent came out to vote. Van Blake beat Johnson more than 6 to 1, with 1,134 votes to 177. Burney’s tally of 3,588 votes was more than four times Perun’s 837 total.

Gibson received 5,329 votes, compared to 1,105 for Dowe and 272 for Edwards. Gibson will resume the unexpired seat immediately and Van Blake and Burney will begin their new terms Jan. 1.

--Bernice Paglia


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