BRIDGEWATER – It’s one of those towns, yeah, you know the kind: overnight bulldozed and back-filled for a buck, with the newly installed nomads left to play catch up.
Fresh-baked apple pies roadside.
And mall rat optics as far as the eye can see.
It’s got enough of the old world to make you think you can take a moon in June nature walk.
When you come out on the other side of the woods covered in deer tics, you know you’ve got to start a treatment for Lyme’s Disease.
But it’s okay.
It’s not quite big enough to be bad, but not sufficiently small to get lost.
It looks like New Jersey metamorphosing into the next caterpillar stage of self.
Tonight, it’s all about a Republican Primary election.
At the local Green Knoll Firehouse, challenger Matt Moench had a telephone crunched against his ear as people came and went.
The war room looked busy.
There were people you’ve seen before from past Republican campaigns.
They massively tried to get the vote out as time ticked down to 8 p.m. and the end.
Somewhere in town, incumbent Mayor Dan Hayes was going through the same rigors of motion with no one really knowing who was going to win.
Moench had an edge on the vote by mail ballots by about 200.
If Moench successfully made the case that the town he grew up in is overdeveloped and needs to humanize itself, Hayes will be at a podium tonight apologizing to his supporters. But if Hayes convinced voters that the town is still interesting, the quality of life far superior to that of most crunched-together Jersey burghs, the diversity of its South Asian, Chinese, blue collar and golf course courtiers a cut above, then Hayes wins.
It was almost 8 p.m.
Then it was 8 p.m.
At the very least, whether it was Hayes or Moench for the GOP, there would be more Bridgewater fun ahead.
Democrat Jeff Brookner wants to be mayor; and Gregg Mele filed today with the office of Somerset County Clerk Steve Peter. The Libertarians have given him their slogan for a general election run for mayor.