Perth Amboy Public Schools elections (2013)

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2013 Perth Amboy Public Schools Elections

General Election date:
November 5, 2013
Table of Contents
About the district
Method of election
What was at stake?
Key deadlines
Additional elections
External links
See also
New Jersey
Perth Amboy Public Schools
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Three seats were up for election on the Perth Amboy Board of Education. Nine candidates sought election to the board on November 5, 2013. Israel Varela, Anthony Bermudez and Samuel Lebreault defeated six challengers to win three at-large seats.

The Board of Education recently suspended Superintendent Janine Caffrey for the third time in the past two years. Caffrey had been reinstated twice by the New Jersey Commissioner of Education after investigations into claims of misstating facts during board meetings and failure to follow bidding procedures for contracts. If Caffrey's administrative leave is not overturned by state officials, the board will choose an interim superintendent to serve until a full-time replacement is selected by June 2014.

About the district

See also: Perth Amboy Public Schools, New Jersey
Perth Amboy Public Schools is located in Middlesex County, New Jersey
Perth Amboy is located along the Raritan River in Middlesex County, New Jersey. The population of Perth Amboy was 50,814 according to the 2010 U.S. Census.[1]


Perth Amboy lagged behind the state poverty rate based on the 2010 U.S. Census. The city had a poverty rate of 19.9% in the 2010 U.S. Census while the state rate was 9.4%. The 2010 U.S. Census calculated Perth Amboy's median income at $45,369 while the state median income was $71,180. The percentage of city residents over 25 years old with undergraduate degrees (15%) was below the state average (35%).[1]

Racial Demographics, 2010[1]
Race Perth Amboy (%) New Jersey (%)
White 50.3 68.6
Black or African American 10.5 13.7
American Indian and Alaska Native 1.1 0.3
Asian 1.7 8.3
Two or More Races 5.6 2.7
Hispanic or Latino 78.1 17.7

Presidential Voting Pattern[2]
Year Democratic Vote (%) Republican Vote (%)
2012 82.5 16.9
2008 86.9 12.3
2004 - -
2000 - -

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.[3]

Method of board member selection

The Perth Amboy Board of Education consists of nine members elected at-large to three-year terms. There was no primary election and the general election was held on November 5, 2013. Three seats are up for election each year.

Candidates for the Board of Education must be 18 years old, reside within the district and submit nominating petitions to the county clerk by the filing deadline. The district moved board elections from the third Tuesday of April to the first Tuesday of November after a 2012 state law provided greater flexibility for local election officials.[4]




Election results

Perth Amboy Board of Education, At-large General election, 3-year term, 2013, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngIsrael Varela Incumbent 17.1% 1,741
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngAnthony Bermudez 16.4% 1,666
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngSamuel Lebreault 15.3% 1,559
     Nonpartisan Mark Carvajal Incumbent 11.4% 1,161
     Nonpartisan Anton J. Massopust Incumbent 10.7% 1,090
     Nonpartisan Reyes Ortega 10.4% 1,061
     Nonpartisan Benjamin L. Salerno 10.1% 1,026
     Nonpartisan Junior Iglesia 4.6% 472
     Nonpartisan Damaris Isales 3.9% 392
Total Votes 10,168
Source: Middlesex County, "Election Results," November 12, 2013</ref>

Campaign finance

Candidates received a total of $10,586.09 and spent a total of $1,205.00 during the election, according to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.[5]

Candidate Contributions Expenditures Cash on hand
Anthony Bermudez $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Mark Carvajal $10,581.09 $1,205.00 $9,376.09
Junior Iglesia $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Damaris Isales $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Samuel Lebreault $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Anton J. Massopust $5.00 $5.00 $0.00
Reyes Ortega $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Benjamin L. Salerno $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Israel Varela $0.00 $0.00 $0.00

Past elections


Perth Amboy Board of Education, November 6, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngWilliam Ortiz 15.8% 2,237
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngKenneth J. Puccio 12.6% 1,785
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngObdulia Gonzalez 12.1% 1,722
     Nonpartisan Nina Perkins Nieves 9.5% 1,347
     Nonpartisan Jeanette Gonzalez 8.9% 1,263
     Nonpartisan Junior Iglesia 8.8% 1,255
     Nonpartisan Reyes Ortega 8.5% 1,208
     Nonpartisan Samuel Lebreault 8.5% 1,205
     Nonpartisan Benjamin L. Salerno 7.7% 1,092
     Nonpartisan Maria Rojas 7.6% 1,077
Total Votes 14,191
Source: City of Perth Amboy

What was at stake?

Incumbents Mark Carvajal, Anton J. Massopust and Israel Varela sought re-election to the board. They were challenged by six other candidates for three available seats.


Tense relationship with superintendent

The Board of Education and Superintendent Janine Caffrey have developed a contentious relationship over the past three years. Caffrey has been removed by board votes in April and October 2012 but remained in office due to the intervention of the New Jersey Education Commissioner. These suspensions occurred because of allegations that Caffrey circumvented the board when implementing counseling programs and manipulated contracts to avoid bidding procedures.[6] The board voted in October 2013 to remove Caffrey and seek an interim superintendent to serve through June 2014. Board member William Ortiz noted after the vote that the district is seeking someone with "emotional IQ with people" to replace Caffrey.[7] Judge Kimberly Moss rejected Caffrey's appeal for reinstatement on November 7.[8]

Caffrey has countered that board members Obdulia Gonzalez, Milady Tejada and Israel Varela are deflecting attention from state ethics investigations. The Office of Administrative Law held hearings on October 16 into accusations of ethics violations by the three board members. Gonzalez, Tejada and Varela are accused of colluding with local unions to increase pressure for Caffrey's removal and paying reporters to write inaccurate stories about the superintendent. The second allegation stems from local reports that Caffrey spent time in a mental health hospital in 2009.[7]

Key deadlines

The following dates were key deadlines for the Perth Amboy Board of Education election in 2013:[9]

Deadline Event
June 4, 2013 Last day for filing nominating petitions in school board elections
June 10, 2013 Last day to challenge nominating petitions in school board elections
August 12, 2013 County clerk draws ballot positions for candidates
September 6, 2013 Last day for candidates to withdraw from genera election ballot
November 5, 2013 General election
December 3, 2013 Certification of election results by Board of State Canvassers

Additional elections on the ballot

The Perth Amboy Board of Education elections shared the ballot with state elections. Residents of Perth Amboy casted ballots for Governor along with seats in the New Jersey State Assembly and New Jersey State Senate. The November 5 ballot included proposed constitutional amendments that would establish cost of living adjustments for the state minimum wage and use gaming profits for veterans' organizations.[10]

See also

External links

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