HAWTHORNE, NJ - When Mayor Richard S. Goldberg announced he would not seek another term, the question arose as to whom should succeed Hawthorne's second-longest-serving mayor. Rather than trigger a primary, Council President Frank E. Matthews and Vice Council President John V. Lane had agreed to let the Republican county committee determine who to back, heading into election season. In the end, Lane, who has long served as a first responder and on the borough council, prevailed.
"I am pleased to have been selected by the Hawthorne Republican County Committee to be their candidate for Mayor of the Borough of Hawthorne," Lane told TAPinto Hawthorne. "My heartfelt thanks to Mayor Richard Goldberg for his years of outstanding service to our community both as a Councilman and then as our Mayor. I am eager to begin planning a successful campaign for election this November along with my Council-at-Large colleagues."
"Both John and I put our names in for consideration and we both decided to let the county committee decide," Matthews said. "We both said that we would support whoever got the nod from the county committee process. John was selected, so I will support him and the whole ticket. Now that he moved up, there will be an opening for another person on the council ticket. People will be interviewed and another person will be selected to fill out the ticket at a future meeting."
Matthews said that he was surprised when Goldberg said he was not going to seek another term. "I wish Rich well on any future endeavors. I would've welcomed him to run again but understand there is a time for family, and he dedicated a lot of time to the people of Hawthorne. I hope that we will continue to follow some of the directions that he established and expand on some of them."
"I think we’re very fortunate that when Rich decided not to run for reelection, we had two very experienced, well-respected public officials willing to step up and take on that responsibility," Councilman Bruce Bennett told TAPinto Hawthorne. "Both John Lane and Frank Matthews have long, distinguished records of public service to our community, and the county committee members had a tough choice deciding between the two. Either one would be a worthy candidate. In the end, John got the nod and now has the responsibility of leading Hawthorne into the future."
The upcoming election will see four contests with the mayor's seat and three at-large council positions to be filled. Incumbents Bruce Bennett and Dominic Mele will be running for re-election with the next Republican candidate yet to be determined. The Ward Council seats are currently occupied by Joseph Wojtecki (D-1), Rayna Laoisa (R-2), Michael Sciarra (R-3), and Frank Matthews (R-4).
The Hawthorne Democrats are expected to announce their slate soon.