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Verona, Cedar Grove Candidates Run Unopposed

Incumbents assured of seats on respective boards of education.

In both Verona and Cedar Grove, candidates for seats on the board of education are running unopposed this year.

Incumbents John Quattrocchi and Joseph T. Bellino will be running unopposed for seats on the Verona Board of Education, while incumbents Frank G. Mandala Jr. and Laura Marinelli run unopposed in Cedar Grove.

There are no municipal elections on Tuesday's ballot in either Verona or Cedar Grove.

“I'm running again because there are still unfinished items I wish to accomplish, one being facility upgrades,” said Mandala, the Cedar Grove board president. He would like to see facility upgrades in his next term including a new football field and track at Cedar Grove High School.

“I've decided to run again because we have established a successful trajectory of improvement in our schools, and I believe there is much more to gain going forward,” Quattrocchi said.

The Verona Board of Education president said his goals for his next term include continuing focus on curriculum improvement plan and action items, see through the new five-year strategic plan, resolve how they will fund their long-term facilities improvement needs and resolve the teachers contract in a sensible, sustainable way, he said.

Cedar Grove Councilwoman Laura Marinelli and Verona Board of Education Vice President Bellino were unavailable for comment.

This will be the first board of education election on the November ballot based on a law signed by Gov. Chris Christie. The law allows school districts that vote in April to change their election date to coincide with the November general election, and bypass voter approval for budgets that do not exceed the statutory 2 percent cap on property tax hikes.

One reason for the change was to increase voter participation because of a larger voter turnout in November. However, there has been a decrease in the amount of school board candidates running in the election, according to a report by the New Jersey School Boards Association.

Residents will also head to the polls to elect congressional and county officials, as well as vote on other ballot items:

  • Essex County SheriffSheriff Armando Fontoura, a Democrat, will square off against Orlando Mendez.
  • 11th Congressional DistrictLongtime Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen, who faced no opposition in the GOP primary, will take on Democratic challenger and former Roseland mayor John Arvanites, who also had no opponents in the primary. 
  • U.S. Senate: Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez, New Jersey's junior senator who was appointed in 2006 to fill Jon Corzine's seat, takes on Republican challenger Joe Kyrillos, who easily defeated three opponents in the primary.
  • U.S. President: President Barack Obama will face former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

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