Without opposition Delle Donna and councilpeople win new terms in Guttenberg even before Election Day
by : Jim Hague
Nov 15, 2005 | 562 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
For the last 15 years, Election Day in Guttenberg has caused Mayor David Delle Donna, as Italians like to say, "acida."

"I'm usually a nervous wreck," Delle Donna said. Over the last 15 years, Delle Donna has had to sweat out election days, going back to when he was an underdog candidate for the Town Council.

But as another municipal election comes up in the county's busiest electoral area, Delle Donna will find something different this time around - no opposition.

Delle Donna's name will appear on the municipal ballot with no other candidate. The same goes for council running mates Gerard Drascheff, Adela Martinez and Efrain Velez. All four will go through Tuesday's election without a scratch.

The four candidates won the right to appear on the Democratic line during June's primary election, but usually, there is either a Republican or an independent candidate that opposes the incumbents at the time of the general municipal election in November.

"It is definitely different," said Delle Donna, who will earn his third term as Guttenberg's mayor late Tuesday night regardless how many voters turn out. "It's not as exciting as when you're out there battling for votes. I don't think the town seems as excited either. It's very hard to try to convince them to come out and vote when there's no election in town."

However, Delle Donna has been spending his time campaigning for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jon Corzine and the rest of the Democratic ticket in Tuesday's election. Corzine, a Hoboken resident, is facing Doug Forrester, a Republican.

Still someone to vote for "It's hard to get the numbers out when people don't think it's an important election, but it really is," Delle Donna said. "We need a Democratic governor, and we need Jon Corzine. Right now, it's a double-edged sword. I'm trying to get a lot of people to come out and vote, but it's hard to convince them when there's no one against you."

Delle Donna has run for public office nine times over the last 15 years. He finally gained election as a town councilman in 1999 and was elected mayor in 2001. He was re-elected mayor in 2003 and now gets his third term.

Four years now Not only will the Election Day process be different this time, but so will Delle Donna and his three running mates' future term in office. Guttenberg used to have two-year terms for its elected officials, but Acting Gov. Richard Codey signed into law a new bill that called for five New Jersey towns to have four-year elected terms instead of two.

So that means when Delle Donna takes the oath of office on Jan. 1, 2006, his term will run through Dec. 31, 2009.

No opposition for a four-year term? Sounds like living on easy street.

But Delle Donna says he still will feel that old Italian queasy feeling come Tuesday morning.

"I always get that feeling on Election Day," said Delle Donna. "It roughly will be the same, just not as strong. But it's a good feeling that no one has chosen to run against me, I'll tell you that. It's a sign that people feel we're doing a good job."

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