Unofficial results of Tuesday's primary election show Councilwoman Rebecca Williams edging out Councilwoman Tracey Brown for the Citywide at-large seat, which may finally give Mayor Adrian O. Mapp the majority he needs on the governing body to support his goals for the city.
City Clerk Abubakar Jalloh gave unofficial results Tuesday as 3,111 for Williams to 2,962 for Brown, including absentee ballots.
"The people of Plainfield are the ones who I think will be the victors here," Williams said as she thanked supporters. "The victory goes to all of you. Keep Plainfield moving forward."
In the Third Ward, Mapp candidate Charles McRae won by a wider margin over Alma Blanco, broadening the mayor's possible support. Jalloh's unofficial tally was 1,114 for McRae to 713 for Blanco.
"I'm very joyous right now. The Third Ward will be heard from," McRae said, thanking his wife, Sylvia, and all who worked on his campaign.
Mapp also praised the campaign team for their hard work.
Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi will publish the official results next week.
Mapp has a year and a half to go in his term and has often met resistance from the current council majority to to his "One Plainfield, One Future" mantra. In 2015, he won the local Democratic Party chairmanship and gained the power to name candidates to the party line, though he took a screening committee's recommendation to give the line to McRae and Williams. Local political wisdom is that a mayor must be able to "count to four" on the seven-member council to get things done, while currently Mapp can count on just three allies.
Williams will be running unopposed for the citywide at-large seat in the November 8 general election. No Republicans or independents filed for the seat. The Mapp-dominated Democratic City Committee must offer three names to the City Council to fill her current Second & Third Wards at-large seat and the result could be the long-desired count to four.
McRae faces opposition from one independent candidate who filed Tuesday, none other than Mapp's former arch-rival, former Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs. She beat Mapp in 2009 to win a second term as mayor, but lost to him in November 2013. After Mapp took office in 2014, she dogged him for months in public meetings. Robinson-Briggs filed Tuesday with the slogan, "The People's Candidate."