Grilo cruises in East Newark; Cifelli fends off challenger for County Commissioner

Dina Grilo has likely won a second term as East Newark’s mayor.

At the end of last night, Tuesday, June 6,  the unofficial vote tally in the that race had her beating Jessica Diaz by a 186 votes to 40.

Her running mates, Jeanne Zincavage and Ken Sheehan, ran unopposed.

While there were no Republicans who filed in the primary, there were seven GOP votes cast for mayor as write-ins and five for the borough council. In theory, the person who received the most votes for mayor could accept the GOP nomination and the top two vote getters could accept the nomination for the two council seats.

There were, however, no reports of anyone waging a write-in campaign to get on the November ballot.

Regardless, it appears Grilo is well on her way to a second term as the mayor of the county’s smallest municipality.

The turnout for the primary in East Newark was abysmal as it was countywide, where only 10% of the eligible voters cast ballots.

Meanwhile, in the race for 9th District Hudson County Commissioner, the Democratic incumbent Albert Cifelli, of Kearny, defeated newcomer Alex Valdez, also of Kearny, by a 1,528 to 908 margin. Though Valdez garnered 37% of the vote, it was rather impressive showing for a first-time candidate who did not have the party’s endorsement anywhere in Hudson County.

Cifelli will face Kearny businessman Jorge D. Santos in the November general election. Santos owns several Kearny laundromats.

In Harrison, all incumbents ran unopposed to victory for the Democrats.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, an organization he has served since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on social media channels such as YouTube, Facebook, and X, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to Kearny to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.