ABSECON – Democrat John Armstrong defeated Republican Councilman Gerald Falivene by 197 votes Tuesday, Nov. 6 to win the contest for mayor, according to Election Day results posted by Atlantic County Clerk Edward A. McGettigan.
Results will become official after they are certified.
Armstrong captured 1,943 votes, or 51.68 percent of votes cast. Falivene received 1,746 votes, or 44 percent.
Armstrong will replace longtime Mayor Pete Elco, a former Holy Spirit High School English teacher, who began his first term in 1989.
“I feel very satisfied,” Armstrong said Wednesday morning after a few hours’ sleep. “We went around town and picked up campaign signs this morning.”
But now the real work begins, he said.
“With the exception of maybe eight or nine houses, I talked to everybody in the city,” Armstrong said. “And when you do that, you get an internal Rolodex of people and their problems and their concerns. There are a number of things I need to follow up on.”
Armstrong said that he also needs to reach out to those voters who supported Falivene.
“There are a lot of people that voted for me, but a lot of people also voted for Jerry,” he said. “I want to reach out to them and their needs as well.”
Two council seats and two school board seats were also decided Tuesday.
In the 1st Ward, Republican Frank Phillips won a three-year seat on council with 1,056 votes, or 53.46 percent, defeating Bart C. Richter, who collected 920, or 45.54 percent.
Democrat Sandy Shenk Cain captured 952 votes, or 55.87 percent, to defeat Charles S. Urban III, who got 752 votes, or 44.13 percent, to represent the city’s 2nd Ward for the next three years.
In a close school board race, Chris Cottrell won 1,329 votes or 36.24 percent, and Stan Kolbe Jr. received 1,190 votes or 32.45 percent, to win the two open seats on the Absecon Board of Education.
John Rynnkiewicz Jr. finished third with 1,140 votes, or 31.09 percent.