By Kathy Baratta at the News Transcript
The voters have spoken and in doing so whittled a field of four Republican candidates down to two who will run against a pair of Democrats in November.
There will be two seats on the Township Committee on the November ballot. The seats carry three-year terms.
Ryan Green and William Garcia defeated Kalman “Butch” Budai and Steven Johnson in the June 3 Republican primary. According to Manalapan municipal clerk RoseAnn Weeden, the final vote tally was: Green, 474 votes, Garcia, 444 votes, Budai, 378 votes, and Johnson 363 votes.
Green thanked the voters of Manalapan for their support in the primary election. He said he wanted to congratulate Johnson and Budai on a tough primary campaign.
(I’d like to echo those words- it was surely a tough campaign and they should keep their heads high!)
“Both sides gave it their all and I wanted to acknowledge that,” he said.
Green said he is “excited about the future and looking forward to the campaign in the fall; to discussing he issues and keeping the campaign positive.”
Green is currently a member of the Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District Board of Education. If he is elected to the Township Committee in November he will have to give up his seat on the school board.
Garcia thanked voters for showing confidence in him and Green.
“I am honored that my fellow Republicans have validated the support that the Manalapan Republican County Committee showed back in March. That my finance education, my 20-plus years in financial services and my unbiased perspective on our issues will allow me to serve my community well.
“I look forward to working with my running mate Ryan Green to continue the dialogue of ways to cut waste and provide the residents with the most efficient service possible. I want to thank my township neighbors for their support during this primary, and I look forward to the next leg of this race as I represent them in November’s general election,” Garcia said.
Speaking about his and Budai’s loss, Johnson said he wanted nonetheless to address the hard work of their supporters.
“I want to thank all of our supporters for a great effort. There are too many to name, but they are all quality people who never asked for recognition in the first place. Our supporters just asked us to be honest and express their desire to change the current direction of our errant Township Committee.
“Now, I want to especially thank Butch Budai for being a stand-up guy who really cares about Manalapan like I do. There are great things in store for him in the future and I am honored to have had him as a running mate,” Johnson said.
Budai said he had no comment on the results.
Green and Garcia will face Democrats Michelle Roth and Donald Holland in the general election in November. Roth is a member of the Township Committee and is serving as Manalapan’s mayor in 2008.
Roth and Holland were not challenged in the Democratic primary. Roth received 811 votes and Holland received 799 votes
in the June 3 primary.