If anyone is trying to find some behind-the-scenes power brokers in the recent West Windsor Township council election, the reports filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission will be disappointing. For the most part the biggest donors to both of the organized slates in the race were the candidates themselves.
According to the ELEC contribution reports, the West Windsor Moving Forward slate received $2,000 each from George Borek, who won re-election to council; Kristina Samonte, who will join the council in the new year; and Lindsay Diehl, who finished out of the running, by a 13-vote margin.
The Moving Forward team also benefited from a $2,600 from the Professional Firefighter’s Association of New Jersey — Borek is employed by the Jersey City Fire Department. The International Association of Firefighters, based in Washington, D.C. contributed a matching aggregate amount of $2,600 as well.
Borek and Samonte’s slate also benefited from a $1,000 contribution from Mayor Shing-Fu Hsueh and a $1,050 contribution from Patrick Boyle of 1252 Windsor Road, West Windsor, a broker and manager at Concept Capital Management. West Windsor Council President Kamal Khanna contributed $25 to the Moving Forward team.
Major contributors to the Strong Leaders team were also the candidates themselves. Bryan Maher, who captured the other open seat on council, contributed $2,024.99. Unsuccessful candidates Lauren Kohn and Gary Zohn contributed $1,260.16 and $960.50 respectively. The West Windsor Republican Club pitched in $1,000 to the Strong Leaders team.
Other Moving Forward contributors, listed in the ELEC filing, included the following:
Anthony DeCarlo, 285 Clarksville Road, West Windsor, $40; Andy Bromberg, 24 Providence Drive in Princeton Junction, $45; Paul Manulik, 2 Colonial Avenue, West Windsor, $60; and attorney Richard Z. Hegedus, Pennington, $450.
Also Michael Hornsby, chairman of the West Windsor Environmental Commission, 978 Alexander Road, West Windsor, $60; Bruce Steidel, 314 Oak Lane, West Windsor, who works for SWM International, $50; Ismat Ullah, Cranbury, $25; and $20 from party treasurer Richard Eland.
Meanwhile the Strong Leaders for West Windsor campaign received $50 from Hemant Marathe, president of the WW-P Board of Education.
Other contributions came from Diane Niciforo, 8 Sapphire Drive, West Windsor, $625; John Church, 11 Princeton Place, West Windsor, $400; Andrew Hersh, 27 Halstead Place, West Windsor, $400; Silviana Dall Asta, 27 Murano Drive, $50; and Intesar Zaidi of Jackson, $500.
The Moving Forward team took to technology to help inform voters, spending roughly $820 on Facebook advertising. Newly-elected councilwoman Kristina Samonte called Facebook a versatile medium that “has a dimension to it to post pictures and provide information. It was a general attempt to reach our voters, particularly the online segment that was important to address. If you excluded it you would be remiss in reaching potential voters, but at the end of the day nothing beats meeting a constituent in person,” Samonte said.