It was the Democrats who pulled off a win again this year in Garwood.
Democratic candidates Bill Nierstedt and Ann Palmer beat incumbent Tim Hak and newcomer Mike Martin for three-year terms on borough council.
This win changes the voting makeup of council from a 50/50 split of Democrats and Republicans to a Democratic majority.
"I'm happy our efforts paid off and I'm proud of the great team behind us," Palmer told Patch. "We knocked on almost every door, we listened to residents' concerns, and I'm eager to get started in January. I'm just excited to do some good work for Garwood."
"A dedicated and hard-working group of people succeeded at returning an experienced team to Garwood borough council," Nierstedt told Patch. "We did listen to comments residents raised as we walked door to door, and we're looking forward to reaching bipartisan resolutions to these issues that will be for the betterment of all Garwood residents."
Garwood has switched political allegiances over the years: It was victory for the Democrats last year, also, when incumbents Louis Petruzzelli and Sara Todisco retained their seats against challengers Carol Kearny and Steven Blaufeder. The year before that, in 2010, was just the opposite - the Republican candidates (Mayor Patricia Quattrocchi and Councilmembers Jim Mathieu and Victor DeFilippo) pulled a full sweep.
Republican incumbent Tim Hak was gracious in defeat.
"I'm disappointed, of course, but I'm glad for the opportunity I had to serve this community," Hak told Patch. "I'm happy that Bill and Ann are people who genuinely care about this town. They are good people, and I like them both."
Hak's running mate, Mike Martin, could not be reached for comment at this time.
Dist. 1 Dist. 2 Dist. 3 Dist. 4 TOTAL Timothy Hak (R) 182 257 178 136 753 Mike Martin (R) 181 251 178 121 731 Bill Nierstedt (D) 239 315 201 141 896 Ann Palmer (D) 229 290 187 143 849