Advena beats Kreischer for commission seat

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Voters choose to stay with civil service

VENTNOR – Mike Advena was elected Tuesday to serve as commissioner for the next six months over challenger and former mayor Tim Kreischer.

With 34 percent of registered voters coming out to polls for the nonpartisan municipal election to fill the unexpired term of Stephen Weintrob through May 15, 2012, Advena received 1,162 votes –  or 53.64 percent – and Kreischer received 1,001 votes, or 46.21 percent.

This is the first elected office for Advena, 47, who serves on the Planning Board and special events committee and is vice chairman of the Zoning Board

Kreischer, 58, was elected commissioner in May 1992 and served as mayor from May 1996-May 2008.

Advena said Wednesday that although he is still awaiting the results of the absentee ballots, which were unavailable by this paper’s deadline, he is excited about the win.

“It’s exciting. I don’t know how much I can accomplish in six months, but I will try to accomplish as much as possible and continue what is ongoing,” he said. “The most important issue in my mind is to keep us moving forward for the next five to six months.”

Mayor Theresa Kelly said Advena will be sworn in as soon as allowable following the certification of the results by the Atlantic County Board of Elections.

Advena said it felt good to know progress in the city would not stall between now and the next election in six months.

He added that he is unsure whether he will get into the commissioners’ race in May.

He also said he would have to step down from the Zoning Board of Adjustment and the Planning Board unless Kelly or Commissioner John Piatt removed themselves from the board. As mayor, Kelly appoints members to the board.

Kreischer could not be reached for comment.

Voters in Ventnor roundly supported the sports betting ballot question, which passed statewide. Some 2,096 voters here approved the measure, while 393 voted against it.

The nonbinding referendum asking voters if they want the city to opt out of the Civil Service System was defeated 1,957 to 542. The question received 4 percent higher voter turnout than the municipal election, with 39 percent of registered voters pushing the button on the question.

Voters here supported the re-election bid of Democratic state Sen. Jim Whelan with 1,394 votes over Republican Assemblyman Vince Polistina, who got 1,290. They followed the county trend with support of Democratic County Clerk Ed McGettigan (1,324 votes) running for a second term against Republican Michele Verno (1,225) but voted Republican for every other race.

According to preliminary results, the breakdown of the voting was District 1: Advena 112, Kreischer 46; District 2: Advena 117, Kreischer 88, write-in 1; District 3: Advena 132, Kreischer 80, write-in 1; District 4: Advena 97, Kreischer 123, write-in 1; District 5: Advena 187, Kreischer 216; District 6: Advena 111, Kreischer 182; District 7: Advena 111, Kreischer 93; District 8: Advena 147, Kreischer 61; and District 9: Advena 148, Kreischer 112.

In total, 43.65 percent of 6,350 registered voters in town came out to the polls Tuesday.

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