LONG BRANCH:Adam Schneider was elected to his seventh term as mayor in Tuesday's municipal election, defeating challenger Avery Grant by just under 250 votes.
"It's a little overwhelming right now to think I've been doing this for this long," Schneider said.
Schneider received 54.64 percent of the vote with 1,461 and Grant got 45.36 percent with 1,213 votes. Both total include absentee ballots and are unofficial.
"You like to win, period," Schneider said. "It was a little nerve-racking, my congratulations to Mr. Grant for his campaign, he turned out his vote and he did a good job with that."
Grant said he was disappointed that he was not elected but that he thought his campaign allowed him to see what the public wants.
"I feel sadly that we did not win," Grant said. "But we did find out what the people want; a cleaner city, progress on Broadway. We need to still work with the city to work out what the community wants and needs. We found our community."
All five incumbent Long Branch Council members were also reelected, with Councilman John Pallone garnering the most votes with 1,793.
The other council members, Michael Sirianni, Kathleen Billings, Joy Bastelli and Mary Jane Celli defeated challengers David Pizzo and Cynthia Branch.
Pizzo echoed Grant's statements about learning from the public during his campaign even in defeat.
"The ideas the people and I shared will be looked at and many will come to fruition," Pizzo said. "A lot of the people told me of the issues around the city that need to be addressed."
The vote totals for all council candidates are as follows (all totals include absentee ballots and are unofficial):
Schneider said he was happy that he will be working with the same council again for the next four years.
"I'm relieved to have the campaign over and I'm very happy to be working with the same five council people," Schneider said. "We work well together, we work hard together and we're going to continue the progress in the city."
This year's voter turnout was lower than the last election which occurred in 2010 and featured three mayoral candidates and 20 council candidates. This year, 2,674 mayoral votes were cast, compared to 4,545 in 2010 and 10,365 council votes were cast compared to 20,272 in the last election.