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Council Challengers Show United Front for Election Day

The Democratic council candidates met up at Knollwood Elementary School.

It's tough to be a Democrat in a Republican town. That's why the three candidates running for Township Council seats in the Tuesday general election are spending the day together, and accompanying each other to their respective polling places. Patch met up with Annelise Catanzaro, Janice McCarthy and Tom Wyka at Knollwood Elementary School.

Turnout is slow here, so far, according to poll workers. Whether that works for or against the Democrats remains to be seen.

The three candidates, however, are upbeat when it coes to their quest of making Parsippany's council, in their view, more representative of the town's political diversity.

"It's been a long haul, this campaign. It's been many months of knocking on doors, writing postcardstalking to people, trying to make personal connections," Catanzaro said. "We've done all we can and now we wait and hope for positive results."

Wyka, a veteran who ran for Congress unsuccessfully in 2006, is thoughtful.

"I always look at elections as checkpoints to better government," he said. "But campaigns are never really over when there's something to improve. I just enjoy the process of reaching out to voters."

McCarthy said she looks forward to this being a memorable day.

"This is going to be a really important election," she said. "Hopefully everything we've done has helped us to accomplish our goal to win Town Council seats."

Catanzaro said that the Democrats' campaign on Monday focused on calling registered Republicans.

"It was a good litmus test for us in terms of how things are going," she said. "I spoke with this nice man, a Republican in his 60s. Some might think he would be set in his ways or something, but I called him and introduced myself and said, 'We met earlier this summer.' He said, 'Oh yeah, I got your note. You took the time to write me a handwritten postcard. We may not agree on everything, but I can tell you're hardworking and I already made up my mind that I'm going to vote for you.'

"That made me feel so great. It's like, our hard work... maybe it can make a difference," Catanzaro said.

The Republicans have worked hard as well during the campaign season, and speculation is that the race will be tight, so every vote counts.

We will find out how the votes shake out when the counting is completed later Tuesday night. Polls are open throughout Parsippany until 8 p.m.

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