Many towns have a host of candidates running for office. But in Woodbridge, where there are no municipal elections this year, the big event locally is Board of Education candidates.
Three incumbents are running for reelection on the nine-member board, and two challengers will be joining them tonight. All five are due at a debate October 15, sponsored by the Presidents' Council of Woodbridge Township.
The debate will be held at 7 pm at Avenel Middle School tonight. Fords Middle School principal Glenn Lottman will serve as moderator.
The incumbent BOE members running to hold onto their seats are Judy Leidner, Lawrence Miloscia, and Board Vice President Ezio Tamburello. The two new candidates who hope to secure a BOE seat are Daniel Harris and Peter Capitano, Sr.
Sure to be at the top of the list of questions the candidates may face is the various standardized test cheating scandals in which schools in the district have been embroiled.
The politicizing of school board elections is another issue that may come up.
Although school elections are supposed to be non-political, Mayor John McCormac has been involving himself in the election. Originally, a three-man team backed by McCormac and the town's Democratic machine was supposed to be running for the three seats. That team included Tamburello, Harris - who is an aide to Assemblyman and Woodbridge Council attorney Craig Coughlin - and Capitano.
This summer, Capitano sent out a hand-written letter saying that he had been given the OK to run this year. Last year, he said, he was told not to run with the threat that his son's job as a carpenter in the school district, could be eliminated.
Capitano said in the letter that both Leidner and Miloscia were going to drop off the ballot because Leidner's husband, who is a policeman in town, would be given a promotion and then be allowed to retire at a higher salary, while Miloscia would be given a part time job.
After Capitano's letter came to light, he was forced off the McCormac-backed ticket, leaving just Harris and Tamburello. Neither Leidner nor Miloscia dropped out of the race.