Sbarra Clinches Third Mahwah Council Seat

Sbarra beat newcomer Jonathan Marcus by 32 votes, county results certified Wednesday

By a margin of 32 votes, candidate Steve Sbarra will officially be sworn in to the third seat up for election on the Mahwah township council this year. Certified county election results posted Wednesday afternoon verified preliminary results gathered in the township on Election Day, when Sbarra led first-time council candidate Jonathan Marcus by 37 votes.

According to the official results released by the Bergen County Clerk’s office Wednesday afternoon, which includes counts of the absentee and provisional ballots cast, 2,131 residents voted for Sbarra. 2,099 voted for Marcus.

The two were battling for the third council seat up for election this year, vacated by retiring councilman Sam Alderisio. The other two open seats were easily won by incumbents Lisa DiGiulio and John Roth, who got 5,144 and 3,636 votes, respectively.

The three highest vote getters will be sworn into three year terms on the council in January. A fifth candidate, Todd VanDuren, only captured about 9.7% of the vote.

“I am very happy to get the chance to serve the people of Mahwah as their councilperson,” Sbarra said Wednesday. He said the fact that he was not a complete political newcomer – Sbarra made an unsuccessful run for a seat on the council last year – and the endorsement of the Mahwah Republican Club that gave him the slight edge.

“I’d like to thank everyone who voted, and supported me, especially my wife Barbara and kids Nicole, Michael and Lisa, and my campaign manager David May,” Sbarra said.

He also thanked his opponent, Jonathan Marcus, who “ran a good campaign. I know it’s not easy to run for the first time because I did it last year.”

Marcus said he is proud of his campaign and plans to run again in the future.

“I really want to thank everyone who voted, whether it was for me or not. Considering the circumstances on Voting Day, to have such a high turnout was amazing,” Marcus said. “This whole thing was a wonderful experience, and it was extremely humbling for me to have so many supporters my first time around. I can’t thank them enough.”

The county results also certified Mayor Bill Laforet’s victory over challenger Ed Sinclair.

The official votes, as reported by the county:

Mahwah Township Council 


Number of Votes

Percentage of Votes

Lisa DiGiulio



John Roth



Jonathan Marcus



Todd VanDuren



Steve Sbarra






Mahwah Mayor


Number of Votes

Percentage of Votes

Bill Laforet



Ed Sinclair







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fred stedtler November 21, 2012 at 11:18 PM
Congratulations to Steve Sbarra! After speaking with Steve at several town council meetings, I can see he is genuine in his concern for Mahwah.Good luck in Your new position.
Andy Schmidt November 21, 2012 at 11:33 PM
Interesting that out of 9,644 who voted in the mayoral election, only about half voted for at least a second candidate. (In reality, the fraction is even lower, if we allow for at least some people having cast all three permitted votes.) I honestly wonder how many people conciously decided to only support ONE candidates, vs. how many simply did not notice/read/comprehend the fine-print that on THAT particular ballot line, they were allowed to pick up to 3 out of 5 candidates. Given the complexity of the ballots, makes you wish for "digital" voting machines that gives the voter some instant and clear feedback, in the form of "You've cast xx out of xx permitted votes - you are permitted xx more". In that regard, I thought the Republican Club ads actually were very clever (and possibly effective), showing a sample ballot and WHERE they wanted the 3 X's to go. Candidates in future elections should take notice.
Gottardo DiGiacopo November 22, 2012 at 02:09 AM
Good info andy. i like the scarlet letter... it's not a confession or a punishment; is it? Congratulations Steve Sbarra, and good luck!!!
deer07430 November 22, 2012 at 04:52 AM
Great, where's my pizza
One for Mahwah November 22, 2012 at 11:35 AM
Congratulations, Steve!
Mona Lot November 22, 2012 at 11:52 AM
Congratulations Steve,now we at least have five council members that are pro Mahwah
Sandy Parks November 22, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Congratulations Steve!! Your family must be extremely proud of you. We know you will do a super job.


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