Two incumbents and one challenger are the top vote-getters in Saddle Brook's race for three council seats with absentee ballots yet to be tallied, the municipal clerk's office confirmed late Tuesday night.
Democratic incumbent Florence Mazzer (3,075 votes), a 12-year councilwoman, was the top vote-getter. Newcomer Joseph Camilleri, who replaced council member Joseph Setticase on the ballot less than two months before election day, finished second with 2,646 votes. Republican incumbent Andrew Cimiluca (2,572 votes) and Democratic challenger Omar Rodriguez (2,540) are separated by just 32 votes for the final council seat.
There is no love lost between Cimiluca and Rodriguez, who have tussled throughout the campaign. During the candidate debate on Oct. 4, Cimiluca said electing Rodriguez would be "a disaster for Saddle Brook."
Now, Cimiluca must wait until absentee and provisional ballots are counted before learning whether he or his adversary has secured the final council seat.
Saddle Brook voters cast a combined 317 absentee and provisional ballots in 2008, and because of Superstorm Sandy this year, that number could be higher in 2012.
Council challengers Vincent Montagna (2,166 votes) and Jerry Taylor (1,989 votes), the Saddle Brook Board of Education vice president, finished fifth and sixth, respectively.
Incumbent William Havison and newcomers Stephen Quinn and Christopher Winnie won three-year terms on the Saddle Brook Board of Education, while incumbent Keith Rosso won a two-year term. All four ran uncontested races.