Every Vote Counts in Estell Manor Mayoral Special Election

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There are two candidates and one seat still up for mayor in this Atlantic County town.

“Anybody who believes that their vote doesn’t count, guess what?” said Joe Venezia, a candidate running for mayor of Estell Manor. “You better get out and vote this time.”

After an even split down the middle, with 367 votes apiece, both men running for mayor of Estell Manor are preparing for a special election.

“This is something that is extremely rare to have ever occurred in the state of New Jersey,” said Stephen Teasenfitz, the other candidate running for mayor.

Teasenfitz is looking to be elected to his second term as mayor, after officially leaving office on December 31st because of the rare tie.

This is something that is extremely rare to have ever occurred in the state of New Jersey.

The president of City Council is temporarily filling the vacant seat.

“My goal is to make sure we maintain stability, to pursue any type of opportunity that we may have for any types of grants or any types of funding,” said Teasenfitz.

Challenging him for the seat is Venezia, who had served as mayor for nearly a decade before Teasenfitz came into office.

“[I'm] very seasoned, very ready,” said Venezia. “I’ve already made a lot of inroads with this new administration, I’ve already met with some of the people, and I’m raring to go to get this job done the way it needs to be done.”

On Election Night, Teasenfitz won by electronic votes.

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When the absentee and provisional numbers came in, Venezia was ahead.

After additional votes were examined by both the Board of Elections and a judge, it officially ended in a tie.

“This is a situation where your vote counts,” said Teasenfitz.

So what does this mean for voters in Estell Manor?

On February 6th, a special election will be opening up, giving residents to vote for their favorite candidate to break the tie, proving that every single vote does indeed matter.

“Nobody can win anything unless you come out and vote,” said Venezia.

According to the City Clerk, Estell Manor had the highest percentage of voters in the county come out on Election Day.

And now in less than three weeks, residents need to go out and vote a second time to decide who will be back to take the seat as Mayor.

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