JACKSON – The township’s longtime incumbent mayor won a fifth term against a former political ally in the mayoral election which also saw the defeat of two incumbent council contenders.
Mayor Michael Reina received 9,254 votes representing 52.91% of the unofficial vote count. Challenger Council President Martin Flemming received 8,165 votes and 46.68% of the vote.
Current Board of Education member Scott Sargent received 8,696 votes while his running mate political newcomer Jennifer Kuhn received 9,028. They ran with Reina under the slogan of “Moving Jackson Forward.” Each seat holds a four-year term.
They defeated incumbents Council Vice President Andrew Kern who received 7,747 votes and Councilwoman Samara O’Neill received 7,790 votes. O’Neill was appointed to the council to replace Councilman Alex Sauickie who resigned to serve as 12th District Assemblyman in September.
While Jackson’s form of government is non-partisan that doesn’t mean a strong political element wasn’t part of this election. By tradition, in the last decade and a half the township has seen a conservative Republican leadership. This particular race was between two groups of Republicans.