Willingboro primary will likely decide council seat

Posted: April 02, 2014

WILLINGBORO A contested Democratic primary race for a seat on the Township Council on June 3 will likely decide the ultimate winner because the Republican committee seldom fields candidates in this Democratic stronghold.

A one-year unexpired term became available when longtime Councilman Jim Ayrer resigned last month after 34 years in office.

The Democratic committee has endorsed Darvis Holley, a special-education teacher in Hamilton, Mercer County, who also serves on the township zoning board and the Municipal Utilities Authority. Holley, 29, is also the president of the Benjamin Banneker Preparatory Charter School, which has 150 students, grades 6-8, and is the son of Sarah and Edison Holley, who have both been on the school board a dozen years.

Vying against him is Martin Nock, 50, a former school board member for five years and the president of Communities in Schools of Philadelphia, a nonprofit whose goal is to prevent dropouts. Nock, who has lived in the township 27 years, said he also ran for a seat on the council about two decades ago.

Mayor Eddie Campbell said Darvis Holley will be sworn in Tuesday to serve on the council for the rest of the year, until an election can be held to determine who will serve the remainder of Ayrer's term. Voters likely will decide that issue in June as there is rarely a contest in November, Campbell said. The five-member council is all Democrats.

Petitions also were submitted Monday by candidates who will run for their party's nod to vie for two seats on the Burlington County Freeholder Board. Incumbents Bruce Garganio of Florence and Joseph Howarth of Evesham were endorsed by the county's Republican committee to run for another three-year term, while Constance Murray of Moorestown put her hat in the ring as a tea party candidate running under the slogan "True Conservative Republican."

The Democratic organization endorsed Edgewater Park Mayor Tom Pullion and former Evesham Township Councilman Mike Schmidt. Party control of the five-member board is at stake in November.


856-779-3224 @JanHefler


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