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Dina Thornton

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Dina Thornton
Dina Thornton.jpg
Board Member, Hamilton Township School Board, At-large
Term ends
November 2016
Years in position 3
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
First electedNovember, 2012
Term limitsN/A
ProfessionHair stylist
Office website
Dina Thornton is an at-large member of the Hamilton Township School Board in New Jersey. She was first elected to the chamber in 2012. Thornton won re-election in a general election on November 5, 2013.


Thornton resides in Hamilton Township, New Jersey. Thornton is employed as a hair stylist, and she also serves as the president of the Mercerville Elementary School PTA in the district. In 2012, she was elected to the board to complete an unexpired one year term.[1]



See also: Hamilton Township School District elections (2013)


Thornton ran against five other candidates to win one of three at-large seats in the general election on November 5, 2013.


Hamilton Township School District, At-large General Election, 3-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngDina Thornton Incumbent 20.3% 8,474
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngPamela A. Kelly 20.2% 8,430
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngAnthony G. Celentano 16.1% 6,708
     Nonpartisan Greg Schultz 15.3% 6,390
     Nonpartisan Vincent McKelvey 14.5% 6,052
     Nonpartisan Jeff Hewitson Incumbent 13.3% 5,551
     Nonpartisan Personal choice 0.3% 128
Total Votes 41,733
Source: Mercer County Clerk, "November 5, 2013 Official Election Results," November 13, 2013


Thornton reported no contributions or expenditures to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.[2]


Thornton did not receive any official endorsements for her campaign.


Hamilton Township School District, At-large General Election, 1-year term, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngDina Thornton 56.3% 11,930
     Nonpartisan Timothy L. Bauersachs 43.6% 9,240
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0% 10
Total Votes 21,180
Source: Hamilton Pulse, "Ticket Splitting Dominates School Board Election," accessed October 30, 2013

Campaign themes

In an interview with The Times, Thornton emphasized that her primary focus was increasing district support for its elementary schools, arguing that, "It’s our foundation, and we need to concentrate on making sure our students are receiving what they need."[1]

What was at stake?

There were three seats on the school board up for election on November 5, 2013. Incumbents Jeff Hewitson and Dina Thornton filed for re-election and competed with four challengers in the at-large race. Fellow incumbent William T. Harvey, Jr. decided not to run for re-election.

Aging district buildings

One campaign issue on which all six school board candidates agreed was the necessity of repairing and upgrading Hamilton Township School District's facilities. District administration estimated the cost of these building improvements at approximately $100 million, and administrators created a five year plan to address the most pressing repairs in the short-term. Board President Jeff Hewitson argued, "We need to begin addressing some of these significant structural issues," and added that, "[...]there’s been a lack of emphasis put on maintenance over the last several years." Former board member Anthony G. Celentano proposed demolishing the Greenwood and Klockner elementary schools in order to build a single large elementary school on the same land as one partial solution to the problem of aging facilities in the school district. Fellow newcomer Greg Schultz stated that the facilities problem was a distraction from classroom issues, and that it will linger until the district resolves it by building additional schools.[3]

About the district

See also: Hamilton Township School District, New Jersey
Hamilton Township School District is located in Mercer County, New Jersey
Hamilton Township School District is located in Mercer County, New Jersey. The county seat of Mercer County is Trenton. According to the 2010 US Census, Mercer County is home to 368,303 residents.[4]


Mercer County underperformed in comparison to the rest of New Jersey in terms of its poverty rate but outperformed the state average median rates of household income and higher education achievement in 2011. The median household income in Mercer County was $73,883 compared to $71,180 for the state of New Jersey. The poverty rate in Mercer County was 10.7% compared to 9.4% for the entire state. The US Census also found that 38.0% of Mercer County residents aged 25 years and older attained a Bachelor's degree compared to 35.0% in New Jersey.[4]

Racial Demographics, 2012[4]
Race Mercer County (%) New Jersey (%)
White 66.5 73.8
Black or African American 21.0 14.7
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.6 0.6
Asian 9.7 9.0
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.2 0.1
Two or More Races 2.0 1.9
Hispanic or Latino 15.9 18.5

Party Affiliation, 2013[5]
Party Mercer County Registered Voters  % of Total
Democratic 83,700 38.27
Republican 32,254 14.75
Libertarian 87 0.01
Green 84 0.01
Other 21 0.01
Unaffiliated 102,557 46.95

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.[6] This Ballotpedia page provides a more detailed explanation of how the Census Bureau handles race and ethnicity in its surveys.

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