No Somerset County Democrat has won a county office since Michael Ceponis won a Freeholder seat in 1979 -- until this Tuesday when Somerville Council President Steve Peter defeated County Clerk Brett Radi.
Courier News: The most shocking result of the evening came when Somerville Borough Councilman Steve Peter defeated Republican incumbent Brett Radi in the race for Somerset County clerk. Peter defeated Radi 43,511 to 43,383.
With his victory, Peter becomes the first Democrat to hold a countywide office in Somerset County in more than three decades since the late Michael Ceponis, also a former Somerville councilman, served one term as freeholder.
Home News: Election 2017 a Dem night to remember Somerset County Democrats should be thrilled today, and not just because of the inroads in the 16th, which includes seven county municipalities. Dems also broke through for a major county office for the first time in decades, as Somerville Councilman Steve Peter bested incumbent county clerk Brett Radi. Incumbent freeholders Brian Levine and Brian Gallagher overcame their own challenges, but only by a couple of percentage points, raising Dem hopes for 2018 and beyond.
TAPInto Somerville: Major Upset: County Clerk Brett Radi Defeated by Somerville Council President Steve Peter Democrat Steve Peter, president of the Borough Council, upset incumbent Republican County Clerk Brett Radi by a narrow 128-vote margin in Tuesday’s election for a 5-year term.
PoliticoNJ: Somerset, that staid GOP land of country clubs (including President Trump’s) and horse farms, narrowly voted for Murphy. Democrats even picked the county clerk site — their first county-wide win in Somerset since 1979. Sure, Somerset's been trending blue in national elections, but not recent gubernatorial elections.
InsiderNJ: Steve Peter wins Clerk's Office Clerk (D) Steve Peter 50%
Patch.com: Breaking: Newcomer democrat Steve Peter of Somerville won the county clerk seat There were two candidates vying for one five-year term as county clerk. Incumbent republican Brett A. Radi of Somerville lost with 43,383 votes while newcomer democrat Steve Peter of Somerville got 43,511.
NJ.com: A new clerk in Somerset County For the first time in more than three decades a Democrat will hold one of the top elected positions in Somerset County. Somerville Council President Steve Peter will be the new Somerset County clerk after defeating incumbent Republican Brett Radi by 128 votes.
Here is a list of the campaigns the Democrats won in Somerset County this year. I want to be sure to thank every candidate, campaign manager, volunteer, district committee member and chair who put themselves out there this year. Win or lose, you moved the needle for historic wins at levels from the municipal to the Governor’s office.
Without all of us, winning campaigns and those just short, we don’t have the historic wins listed below.
These wins and totals are taken from the Somerset County Clerk’s office results posted online.
Thank you for everything you did this cycle. Celebrate our wins!
Governor-elect Phil Murphy won with 45,296 votes over Kim Guadagno’s 43,690. That’s the first time a Democratic gubernatorial candidate has won county-wide!
FOR COUNTY CLERK
Clerk-elect Steve Peter won with 43,511 votes over incumbent Brett Radi’s 43,383. That’s the first county-wide win for the Democrats since 1979, and we think it’s the first time a Democrat has ever held the Clerk’s office. That is absolutely stunning, and so many worked to make this happen. Thank you.Read more
For Immediate Release
November 7, 2017
Somerset County Democrats Declare Victory in Clerk’s Race for Steve Peter Based on County Clerk’s Website Results
Brett Radi’s Official Somerset County Clerk Website Shows an Historic Democratic Victory
(Somerville, NJ) – Somerville Council President Steve Peter was declared the victor of the Somerset County Clerk’s race by Somerset County Democratic Chair Peg Schaffer tonight after a close win of less than 1 percent.
The Somerset County Clerk’s office reports on its website the challenger with 43,511 votes and the incumbent with 43,383 votes.
“I look forward to updating the County Clerk’s office to serve all the people of Somerset County with consistent, high-quality services,” said Peter. “I will work hard with my team to have a smooth transition and hit the ground running in January.”
“I am thrilled to have won the first Somerset County race for the Democratic Party in more than 35 years, and look forward to more in 2018,” said Schaffer. “I am saddened that we did not cross the finish line with our great Freeholder candidates, Shanel Robinson and Alex Avellan, but they ran a great race and will continue to be a credit to Somerset County for a long time.”
The Bernardsville News editorial board blasted the New Jersey and Somerset County Republicans for relying on bigotry and racism to attack Democrats. The whole editorial is after the jump, but here are some choice pieces
A racially charged political mailing in Edison made headlines last week when an election flier sent to residents in that Middlesex County town attacked two Asian school board candidates. …
This racist incident should be an affront to all Americans. In our greatly divided nation, bigotry seems to be rearing its ugly head far more frequently in our elections.
Somerset County is no exception. …
The racism exhibited in the political mailings in Edison this election year is indisputable.
Bigotry was much better disguised in Somerset County during the 2017 campaign season, but just as prevalent.Read more
Shanel Robinson is a United States Air Force veteran, an elected councilwoman in Franklin NJ, a mother and grandmother, and the Democratic Candidate for Freeholder in Somerset County NJ.
Oh, and this patriotic woman can SING!
Dr. Randal Pinkett knows the Trump/Christie playbook, having won season four of The Apprentice with Donald Trump at the helm. He is also a Somerset County resident, and had the following to say about the Democratic ticket of Steve Peter, Alex Avellan and Shanel Robinson xthe lies hurled at them by the Republicans. Here is his statement:
“The Somerset County ticket of Shanel Robinson, Alexander Avellan, and Steve Peter truly reflects the diversity of Somerset County. To have an African American woman, Latino man, and white man running for office of such character and integrity should make us proud of our political process. They not only represent diverse backgrounds but also the diverse experiences needed to bring Somerset County together. Unfortunately, their opposition has resorted to innuendo, untruths, and attacks that seek to divide us rather than unite us. The time has come for this kind of politics to stop, and for everyone to be reflected and represented in our county government.”
Dr. Randal Pinkett, Somerset Resident
Chairman and CEO, BCT Partners
U.S. Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) issued the following statement regarding campaign literature paid for by the New Jersey Republican State Committee on behalf of the Somerset County Republican ticket for Freeholder and Clerk:
I am disappointed and, frankly, furious at the recent attacks undertaken by the New Jersey Republican State Committee and the Somerset County candidates of Brett Radi, Brian Levine, and Brian Gallagher. Shanel Robinson is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, a beloved councilwoman in Franklin, a devoted grandmother, and a frequent volunteer at battered women’s shelters. Describing her in literature as “a threat to our special quality of life in Somerset County” demeans both her character and her incredible abilities. Once again, we see white candidates relying on innuendo and racially divisive language to attack a person of color. It’s a tactic straight from President Trump’s playbook, and has no place in Somerset County.
In their outrageous attack, they claim she filed a disclosure form late and label her ‘unethical’. That’s a lie. Not only did she file the forms on time, but incredibly, it’s been proven that both the Republican candidates have filed late in recent years. I ask all Somerset County voters to think about that before they cast their votes in the November 7th elections. In the meantime, I call on the New Jersey Republican State Committee to apologize and demand that Brett Radi, Brian Levine, and Brian Gallagher do the same. Now more than ever, we need elected officials in both parties who will work to bring us together – not deliberately divide our communities and lie to residents.