Secaucus Mayor Dennis Elwell and his Democratic slate prevailed over an intraparty challenge in the June 2 primary election as voters sided with current leadership over a pitch for change.
With more than 3,000 votes cast for the mayoral Democratic nomination, Elwell defeated public defender Peter Weiner by 377 votes — 1,726 to 1,349 — showing that many voters, but not enough, picked up on the challengers’ call for a change in leadership.
Elwell, 1st Ward councilwoman Dawn McAdam and veteran 3rd Ward candidate John Reilly, all backed by the Hudson County Democratic Organization, held off the spirited Democrats for Change in Secaucus ticket led by Weiner.
The HDCO candidate for the 2nd Ward council seat, Frank Trombetta, was unopposed in the primary.
McAdam, who was seated in March to fill the council seat vacated by Richard Kane, prevailed over a party challenge from Joe Morano, 498-357. Reilly defeated Susan Pirro in the 3rd Ward, 517 to 399.
The winners will square off in the fall against an Independent slate led by Councilman and mayoral hopeful Michael Gonnelli, who is running with 1st Ward candidate Rob Costantino, 2nd Ward incumbent John Bueckner and 3rd Ward challenger Bill McKeever. Current 1st Ward councilman Gary Jeffas is treasurer of that push.
Dennis Elwell 1,726 (56.08%)
Peter Weiner 1,349 (43.83%)
Council, 1st Ward
Dawn McAdam 498 (58.25%)
Joseph Morano 357 (41.75%)
Council, 3rd Ward
John Reilly 517 (56.44%)
Susan Pirro 399 (43.56%)