He was Morris Plains’ first Democratic mayor in memory. On Tuesday, Jason Karr proved he was no fluke, winning a second term with more than 60 percent of the vote.
“It feels fantastic. I’m humbled that the town has really stuck by my side for a second term as mayor,” Karr said after defeating Art Bruhn Jr., a Republican councilman.
Democratic Council Members Nancy Verga and Joan Goddard also appeared to have won re-election, against GOP challengers James Myers and Jennifer Meehan.
Unofficial results posted by Morris County Clerk Ann Grossi showed Verga with almost 28 percent of the vote, followed by Goddard with 26 percent, Myers with 24 percent and Meehan with 22 percent. Myers trailed Goddard by 122 votes.
The GOP holds a 4-2 council majority, in a once-red municipality of 6,000 where registered Republicans, Democrats and unaffiliated voters now are divided evenly.
Karr, a 54-year-old Morristown public works employee, praised Verga and Goddard as the hardest-working council members he has known, in a political career that includes 11 years as a councilman. At his first election, Karr became the borough’s first Democratic councilman in two decades.
The mayor also had good words for his opponent, a 55-year-old sales person and accountant who has served on the council for five years.
“Art’s a great guy. I don’t have any bad feelings about him,” Karr said.
Bruhn could not be reached for comment.
Both candidates talked about revitalizing the downtown, which has seen many business closures in recent years.
Karr said he visited nearly every borough street, knocking on nearly every door, during the campaign. He said he was there to listen, as much as pitch.
“It takes everybody’s ideas, thoughts and concerns to make it all right,” Karr said.
Asked how he planned to celebrate, Karr laughed.
“I’m gonna take a nice long nap!” he said.