Republicans expected to retain control in Hamilton

Hamilton Township Mayor Roger Silva congratulates his running mate Bobby Laws at their victory party at Cousin Mario’s Restaurant in Mays Landing Tuesday night.

Charlie Pritchard

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP – In a close election marked by heavy voter turnout, Republicans have retained control of the governing body. Whether their majority will remain a 4-1 or narrow to 3-2 will depend on the tabulation of provisional and absentee ballots.

Incumbent Mayor Roger Silva is leading the field with 5,079 votes, followed by Republican Committeeman Robert “Bobby” Laws with 4,813. Former Democratic Committeewoman Judy Link is trailing by 32 votes, at 4,781, and Democrat Mark Ludwick has 4,644.

While Silva’s lead seems safe, with hundreds of provisional and absentee ballots remaining to be counted, the second seat remains in question.

“The voters have spoken,” Silva said. “The government you get is the government you spoke for. I am always humbled when people give me their vote.”

“It is amazing that two guys who were undermanned and outspent did so well,” Laws said. “I am so proud to be part of this team.”

The mood at Democratic headquarters was solemn yet hopeful. Campaign Chairman Robert Campbell expressed optimism that Link will win the second seat after the remaining votes are counted.

“If she wins, we will have another opportunity to gain control next year when a Republican seat is up for re-election,” Campbell said.

Ludwick thanked all the voters and supporters who worked so hard on his party's campaign.

“Hopefully when the provisional and absentee ballots are counted Judy will be successful. I also want to congratulate Mayor Silva on his victory,” he said.

In the election for the Hamilton Township Board of Education, incumbents Gregory Ciambrone and Kim Melton garnered 4,247 and 4,242 votes, respectively. There were 462 write-in votes for a third available seat, which will go to the person with the highest total.

One seat on the Greater Egg Harbor Regional High School Board of Education was also on the ballot. Anne Erickson captured the seat with 2,876 votes. She was trailed by Thomas Dawson Jr., who had 1,596 votes, and Danielle Pagan with 1,401.