Three Dem freeholders seek reelection on Nov. 3

UNION COUNTY, NJ — Three Union County Democratic incumbent freeholders are up for reelection in November and will face off at the polls against a full slate of Republican challengers. Freeholder Chairman Mohamed Jalloh, Vice Chairman Bruce Bergen, and Alexander Mirabella all hope to reclaim their seats for another three years.

The trio will square off against Republicans Rene Dierkes, Richard Fortunato, and Joseph Bonilla in the General Election on Nov. 3.

Jalloh, a resident of Union, is currently finishing his second three-year term as a Union County freeholder, and has served as the board’s chosen chairman for 2015. It is his first time serving as chairman of the board.

According to his bio, he was born in Union County and grew up in Roselle. In addition, he has a bachelor of science degree in rhetoric and communications with a minor in African-American studies from Syracuse University. He has also earned a juris doctorate degree from Rutgers University Law School in Newark.

As chairman for the past year, Jalloh has taken aim at “Investing in Union County,” his initiative since he took the position in January. His programs to invest in the county included “new arts, economic development, public safety, recreational, educational, and quality of life programs.”

Vice Chairman Bergen was first elected to a freeholder seat in 2012, and is just finishing his first term in office. This is his first time serving as vice chairman and he as never served as chairman, a position chosen by the freeholder board.

Bergen, according to his bio, is a resident of Springfield and a partner in the Cranford law firm of Krevsky, Silber & Bergen. He has been practicing law for the previous 34 years and is a lifelong resident of Union County. He previously served as the Springfield township attorney for 17 years.

The attorney continues to serve as a Trustee of the Board of Directors of the New Jersey Institute of Local Government Attorneys, the statewide municipal attorney organization affiliated with the New Jersey League of Municipalities, and as an associate editor of the Local Government Law Review, published quarterly by that organization.

Bergen was born and raised in Cranford, his biography states, and has been a member of the Rotary Club since 1982 and has twice served as president of the service organization.

Mirabella is a resident of Fanwood and his biography says he brings experience in business and public services to the freeholder board. He was first elected in 1997 and is currently finishing his sixth three-year term. He has served as chairman of the board four times.

As chairman, the county points out on their website, he “helped implement the Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund, sparking some of the largest increases in Union County parkland in generations.” In addition, the county’s website says he developed the sensory friendly theater program aimed at children with autism and other sensory sensitivities and oversaw the expansion of the veterans affairs office.

One highlight of his most recent chairmanship is the Union County Means Business initiative, “which includes business networking events, an online information hub and newsletter, a new workforce partnership with Union County College, and a special small business program,” according to the county’s website.

In 1991, Mirabella began his political career when he got elected to the Roselle Park Borough Council, where he served until 1996. He graduated from Hobart College in Geneva, NY, with a bachelor’s degree in economics. His wife, Phyllis, is a former councilwoman in Roselle Park.

Repeated calls to the Union County Democratic Committee were not returned by press time.