Conley Beats Incumbent Holden in Mayoral Race

Republican Landrigan, Democrat Vitale win council seats.

Bob Conley, vice president of the Madison Area YMCA, beat incumbent mayor Mary-Anna Holden in Tuesday's election by an unofficial margin of a little more than 200 votes.

It is a triumph for Conley, who was very thankful on Tuesday night for the volunteer efforts that boosted the Democrat's presence in Madison throughout the campaign.

"I think the biggest part was that we had a tremendous volunteer effort behind us, from the pieces we got out in the mail and really got our message across and from going door to door," Conley said. "I think we had the right message, and that’s obviously key. If it’s the wrong one, it’s not gonna work."

Conley was also very complimentary of Holden for her years of service to the borough.

"Mary-Anna has given Madison 14 years of dedicated service, and she deserves credit for everything she’s done," Conley said.

Holden was gracious in defeat, pledging to make for an easy transition as Conley prepares to take office in January.

"I've served the community very well, and I've accomplished everything I’ve wanted to do. I've moved an agenda of things that haven’t been done since 1992," Holden said. "I leave Mr. Conley with a clean slate, and I'll be happy to make this a smooth transition for him."

One of Holden's running mates, Bob Landrigan, won his bid for township council, while Democrat Carmela Vitale received three less votes and earned the other open council seat, according to Tuesday night's unofficial results.

"First of all, I just want to say this was very bittersweet," Landrigan said. "I’m happy I won, but I feel bad for my other two running mates that did not (Holden and council candidate Martin Barbato), because they’re very good people. I’m glad for Bob Conley and Carmela Vitale, but I feel bad for my running mates."

Nonetheless, Landrigan pledged to work in cohesion with his fellow council members when he takes office.

"As far as I’m concerened going forward, everybody should have the same focus. Madison, right now, is a tough challenge," Landrigan said. "The country’s in pretty rough economic shape right now. Madison has to do right thing by its citizens, and the council has to work together to do that. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat or Republican; we have to make sure we take care of our town."

Vitale, as the other new member of the council, is ecstatic at the chance to serve again.

"I am so excited, and I am so happy," Vitale said. "I’m looking forward to working with Bob Conley again and getting back on that council. I’m excited, very excited."

The first challenges for the mayor-elect and his council involve shared services, as well as making sure everyone in the community has an equal voice at borough council meetings.

"We’ll start working before Jan. 1, but (the first task) will be developing shared services. We need a long-range strategic plan for the borough in order to survive in this tough economy under tough fiscal constraints," Conley said. "(We will also be) changing the demeanor of council meetings, where residents can come in, speak and be listened to. We haven’t had a whole lot of that."

Tuesday night's unofficial general election results for Madison Borough are below.


Robert Conley (D) 1,937 Mary-Anna Holden* (R) 1,719


Robert Landrigan (R) 1,822 Carmela Vitale (D) 1,819 Martin Barbato (R) 1,781 Robert McDowell (D) 1,446
MadInNJ November 10, 2011 at 07:10 PM
Only "plausible," you really know how to hurt someone Mr. T. ;)
Madison Station November 11, 2011 at 12:54 AM
Patrick Franklin November 11, 2011 at 10:00 PM
Marty, you're always saying how long over due the fields are so please explain why you didn't start the fund raising much sooner (seems like a lack of vision and leadership to me). I'm actually for the fields, but fed up with the lies and misconceptions that you continually spin. Here on Patch Conley illustrated how poorly ran and under funded this project is and it helped him win the election! Maybe MAF would be better off with out you (I'm sure Conley would love to see you go).
Slip November 11, 2011 at 10:27 PM
Agreed. You all with the personal criticisms really need to give it a rest. Debates are one thing, but the personal attacks are quite another. Within the past week there was another post thread here that the editor needed to terminate for the same reason. They talk about bullying and tormenting at the schools. You certainly don't have to look far to see where they get it from. Clearly not everyone's going to agree, but go to the appropriate venues and have your debates. Or if you are so inclined take it out back and settle it. That would actually be more mature than some of what goes on here.
CoolBreeze November 14, 2011 at 02:46 PM
Ok Mr Tombalakian, The Lynryd Skynyrd cover of JJ Cales "Call me the Breeze" is a fantastic example of a 12 bar blues guitar shuffle, and it is impossible not get moving when comes over the box. I guess I'm just partial to the Blues, as opposed to its somewhat pretentious spawn, Jazz.........


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