In a resounding victory, incumbents Angel Estrada, Chris Hudak, and newbie Vernell Wright were elected as Union County Freeholders Tuesday night, making it 16 years since the last Republican sat on the board of freeholders.
With three seats up for grabs, Andy Smith of Summit and his running mate Ed Ortiz of Elizabeth faced an uphill battle raising less money than their opponents. While Smith raised $7,000, Ortiz was unable to raise enough to file a report to the state.
While the trio of Democrats raised more than $104,000, including funds available from previous elections. The three of them all from different backgrounds hope to succeed and bring change.
“I’m very excited about the next three years, Hudak said. “I really am. We have a dynamic team.”
Hudak expressed his gratitude to the carpenters, laborers, workers, and volunteers who assisted in campaigning. Residents of Union County believed in Wright, Estrada and himself, he said. This victory was a step in the right direction, the Freeholder said.
“I sort of dived right in this year filling in an unexpired term and I want to continue that work,” Hudak said.
He said he hopes to keep the county affordable, continue to pave roads, improve hospitals and most importantly improve life for senior citizens.
While Estrada brings 12 years of experience, Wright a retired public school principal is jumping in the political world for the first time. Wright said she was asked to run, but does not know what challenges are in front of her yet. She said she has strong people skills and is willing to accommodate and help the people of Union County.
“She’s just going to do a fantastic job representing the county,” Hudak said.