Chintall and Cianfarini Sweep to Victory in West Deptford Committee Election
The Republicans prevailed in a tight three-way election Tuesday.
Two years of muckracking, taking a stand at township meetings and fighting for change paid off for Republicans Sam Cianfarini and Ray Chintall Tuesday night, as voters shifted the tide further against the Democrats in a close election, according to unofficial results from the Gloucester County Board of Elections.
Chintall (2,828) and Cianfarini (2,828) won out over Democrats Hunter Kintzing (2,384) and Denice DiCarlo (2,433) as well Independent Len Daws (1,078), giving Republicans control of township committee for the first time in more than 25 years.
“Democratic rule in West Deptford is over,” Cianfarini said as the Black Eyed Peas' “I Gotta Feeling” pulsed in the background at the Republicans' victory party at Westwood Golf Club. “This is our community, and we've taken it back.”
Chintall thanked the volunteers and local Republican Party members who helped push the campaign to victory.
“You've had our back for the last eight months,” he said. “We're going to have your backs for the next three years.”
Chintall vowed he and Cianfarini would transcend party affiliation, and said they're wasting no time getting things started.
“The big challenge is starting tomorrow,” he said.
Cianfarini and Chintall are planning a meeting with township employees to assure them rumors that came out ahead of the election–like a secret list of employees who would be fired should the Republicans get elected–aren't true.
Come January, Cianfarini said making local government even more transparent–potentially through another website, as he and Chintall did with wdtruth.org–is the team's top priority.
“Let's get the people informed as to what the real situation is,” he said.
After that, tackling the debt–and a looming $3.4 million hole in the budget, given a debt service increase due next year–is right at the top of the list.
The need for change resonated at the polls, where many residents cited it as their main reason for coming out to vote.
"It's time for a change," Sebastian Marraffa said as he left the municipal building. "A party gets in too long, they start thinking they can do want without having to tell anybody about it."
Democrats Hunter Kintzing and Denice DiCarlo called the loss disappointing, but wished the Republicans good luck in working to build a coalition in local government.
“Hopefully there's a bright future ahead for West Deptford,” Kintzing said.
West Deptford Democratic chair Gerald White said the Republicans have earned the right to govern according to their plan.
“Hopefully they govern wisely,” he said. “We'll see how that turns out.”
Senator Stephen Sweeney pointed out the loss in West Deptford as particularly pointed during his speech to the county Democrats.
“I'm heartbroken about my town,” Sweeney said, though he vowed to work to restore Democrats to power next year.
Daws, meanwhile, said he's likely done with political service, but called it a “tremendous honor” to have served on the committee for 17 years.
“I will continue to pledge my involvement in whatever way I can to continue to serve this great community,” he said.