Wal­lace, Lawhorn win

Wal­lace earns sec­ond term; Lawhorn takes District 5 seat

Newark Post - - FRONT PAGE - By JOSH SHAN­NON jshan­non@ches­pub.com

District 3 vot­ers gave in­cum­bent Jen Wal­lace a sec­ond term on city coun­cil, while Ja­son Lawhorn emerged from a field of new­com­ers to win the District 5 seat on Tues­day night.

Wal­lace won 69 per­cent of the 484 votes cast in District 3, de­feat­ing for­mer city em­ployee Ricky Ni­etubicz, who se­cured 31 per­cent of the vote.

A 46-year-old res­i­dent of Barks­dale Es­tates, Wal­lace was the leader of Newark Res­i­dents Against the Power Plant be­fore be­ing elected to coun­cil in 2016. She works as mem­ber­ship and mar­ket­ing co­or­di­na­tor for the Amer­i­can So­ci­ety of Cy­topathol­ogy and as a free­lance writer.

“It feels great,” Wal­lace said shortly af­ter the re­sults were an­nounced at city hall. “I feel like I have the sup­port of the res­i­dents of District 3 and I think they spoke to­day that they’re happy with the lead­er­ship they have.”

She thanked Ni­etubicz for run­ning a good cam­paign.

“I think he did a great job and I was happy to have the chal­lenge,” she said. “It’s good to have a lit­tle bit of a chal­lenge. It makes you work hard.”

Wal­lace at­trib­uted her vic­tory to the ef­fort she has made to keep District 3 res­i­dents en­gaged in city pol­i­tics.

“We had a lot of mo­men­tum af­ter the power plant,” she said. “A lot of peo­ple were en­gaged, and I’ve been work­ing to try to keep that mo­men­tum be­cause we do need to have res­i­dents en­gaged. It’s nec­es­sary for us on coun­cil to do our jobs.”

There will be plenty to keep her and the rest of coun­cil busy in the com­ing months, she said.

“We’ve got the ref­er­en­dum com­ing up and that’s go­ing to be a big part of my job, mak­ing sure res­i­dents have the information they need to make an in­formed de­ci­sion about that,” she said. “Then right on the heels of that, we’re go­ing to be be­gin­ning with the budget. There’s no rest.”

Mean­while in District 5, Lawhorn won ap­prox­i­mately 68 per­cent of the 469 votes cast, de­feat­ing Lena Thayer and Neel Barua, who earned just un­der 21 per­cent and 12 per­cent, re­spec­tively.

A 41-year-old Fair­field res­i­dent, Lawhorn works as re­search man­ager for Ad­vanced Ma­te­ri­als Tech­nolo­gies in Wilm­ing­ton. Tues­day’s race was his first foray into pol­i­tics. Lawhorn will re­place Luke Chap­man, who en­dorsed him af­ter choos­ing not to seek a fourth term.

“I’m ex­cited to be able to work for my neigh­bors and I’m ready to get started,” Lawhorn said Tues­day night.

He at­trib­uted his vic­tory to hard work.

“I got out there early and talked with res­i­dents,” he said. “I was very can­did, open and hon­est.”

Lawhorn said he hopes to speak with Thayer and Barua to hear some of their ideas as well, adding that he learned a lot from talk­ing to vot­ers in his district.

“I think we have some big is­sues com­ing up with the city man­ager hire and the ref­er­en­dum,” he said. “I want to work with all the coun­cil mem­bers and the mayor to hope­fully con­tinue to im­prove our re­la­tion­ship with the city staff a lit­tle bit and im­prove the deco­rum of how city coun­cil works with one an­other.”

In District 6, Stu Markham ran un­op­posed, earn­ing his sev­enth term on coun­cil.

“I’d like to con­grat­u­late Coun­cil­woman Wal­lace on her suc­cess­ful re-elec­tion and wel­come Ja­son Lawhorn to coun­cil,” Markham said in a pre­pared state­ment. “We are tasked with tack­ling im­por­tant is­sues im­pact­ing the city, par­tic­u­larly over the next sev­eral months, and I look for­ward to work­ing with all of my col­leagues to en­sure we’re mak­ing the best de­ci­sions for those we rep­re­sent.”

Wal­lace, Lawhorn and Markham will be sworn in for two-year terms on April 19.

Turnout in Tues­day’s elec­tion was 12 per­cent in District 3 and 22 per­cent in District 5.


District 5 can­di­date Ja­son Lawhorn greets vot­ers out­side the First Pres­by­te­rian Church of Newark on Tues­day.

District 3 in­cum­bent Jen Wal­lace (left) talks to vot­ers out­side the Aetna fire sta­tion on Thorn Lane on Tues­day.

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