CRANFORD – The Cranford Democratic Committee announced on Monday that Brian Andrews and Jason Gareis will be the Democratic candidates in the 2020 election for the Township Committee. Incumbents Patrick Giblin (D) and Jean-Albert Maisonneuve (D) decided against reelection.
Andrews was also a candidate for a Township Committee seat in last year’s election, but fell just 38 votes shy. Brian and his wife, Jill, currently raise two young children in town. He is an active member of the Cranford Jaycees, and previously served on the Parks and Recreation Committee. He also chairs the Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Committee, serves on the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition, and is a board member of the Cranford Fund for Educational Excellence.
“Cranford is a community that comes together in tough times. When our town floods, neighbors help neighbors, and we rebuild,” said Andrews. “Even now, when we need to maintain physical distance, Cranford residents are supporting local businesses, our health professionals and first responders, and each other. It is inspiring.”
“The Township Committee has an important role responding to this health crisis, and then supporting our recovery,” he added. “I spent years serving under Democratic and Republican administrations in Washington DC, and studying how to make government more effective. Working with Cranford residents, businesses, and organizations, I want to help us come out of this even stronger in the years ahead.”
Jason, along his wife, Lauerin, and his son live near Nomahegan Park, and enjoy spending time outdoors daily. An attorney in private practice, he has spent most of his professional career in public service with the County Prosecutor’s office.
“I am eager to now focus on public service in my local community,” Gareis said. “My family and I enjoy every day we spend living in Cranford. My eight-year-old son loves the Orange Avenue School community and playing lacrosse as part of the Cranford Lacrosse Club. From walks downtown for dinner, to township-sponsored events at the Community Center and the overall feeling of community, we are reminded every day why Cranford is such a special place.”
Serving on Cranford’s Township Committee, explained Gareis, “would allow me to use my nearly two decades of problem-solving experience to help lead Cranford forward and continue on its path as an exceptional place to live and raise a family.”
Andrews and Gareis will be up against Chrissa Stulpin and Gina Black, who will lead the Republican Ticket. The current Cranford Township Committee consists of four Democrats (Giblin, Maisonneuve, Kathleen Miller Prunty, Thomas Hannen, Jr.) and one Republican (Mary O’Connor).
Cranford is governed under the Township form of government. The five-member Township Committee is elected directly by the voters at-large in partisan elections to serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with either one or two seats coming up for election each year as part of the November general election in a three-year cycle.
The Committee members elect a chairman of the committee who assumes the title of Mayor and another who is selected as Deputy Mayor. Both positions carry one-year terms. Four of the committee members take on departmental oversight assignments as Commissioner of Finance, Commissioner of Public Safety, Commissioner of Public Works and Engineering, and Commissioner of Public Affairs. The Mayor of Cranford does not take on a departmental assignment. The Township Committee is a part-time body and the township government is run day-to-day by the Township Administrator and various department heads.