BEDMINSTER TWP. – The township’s Republican Municipal Committee (RMC) has endorsed one incumbent and one first-time candidate for two, three-year seats on the Township Committee this year.
The GOP is supporting Committeeman Doug Stevinson of Ski Hill Drive and first-time candidate Gina Fernandez of Deer Haven Road.
The second incumbent, Staci Santucci, advised the RMC that she would not be seeking reelection to a third term due to increased work commitments, according to a press release from the party.
The 2019 primary election is Tuesday, June 4. The Democratic Party has not yet announced its candidates. Currently, the five-member Township Committee is all Republican.
Stevinson is running for a second term. He has made the municipal budget and quality of life issues the hallmarks of his tenure, the press release states.
“He led the effort to create a very popular dog park in River Road Park; he is monitoring improvements to Pluckemin Park senior neighborhood and will soon announce the 2019 municipal budget, which will again come in under the rate of inflation,” the GOP release states.
Stevinson’s wife, Suzie, serves on the Bedminster Board of Education. They have three children.
A teacher in Union County, Fernandez “is a leader in the community,” according to the GOP press release.
She and her husband, Gus, have been township residents since 2006, first living in the Parkside section of The Hills development before moving to Deer Haven Road. She is the mother of three children.
She has served as vice president of the township Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) and co-chair for three years of PTO’s annual “Spring Fling” benefit, raising more than $100,000 for the elementary school.
She was a Girl Scout Leader for 12 years and served on the steering committee that ran Project Graduation for Bernards High School in 2018.
The founder of the Hispanic Heritage Club of Union, Fernandez “vows to keep property taxes low, preserve open space and uphold our tight-knit community,” the press release states.
Santucci was first appointed to the governing body in March 2013 to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Katy Rupert. She was elected to her first full term in November 2013 and was re-elected three years later.
“It is a privilege to serve Bedminster and I am very grateful for your continued support and camaraderie,” she said. We all know Bedminster Township is an extremely special place to live and I am so fortunate to have had the opportunity to serve our residents and I thank you all for that.”
Santucci said she “fully supports” the RMC’s nominations.
“We are fortunate to have two highly qualified candidates,” added Bedminster RMC Chairman Steve Parker, the former mayor who stepped down at the end of last year.
“Doug is a proven leader and Gina brings some great new energy to the ticket. She has big shoes to fill replacing Staci Santucci, but I believe we have a good team to lead Bedminster into the future.”