As the date for primary elections nears, Kathy Abbott wants Chatham Township residents to know what a big decision they face at the polls.
"I would like to emphasize the importance of this primary for Chatham Township," Abbott said. "This is the election for the township."
Abbott is running for one of the two seats that will open up on the Chatham Township Committee this year, along with her runningmate Laura Ali Nonnenmacher. Committee Member Bailey Brower, Jr. is running to keep his current seat on the committee, and Jeff Furbish is his runningmate.
All four candidates are registered Republicans, and with no Democrats running for the committee, the two candidates who earn the most votes in the June 7 primary will go on to the November election uncontested. Committee Member Bill O'Connor is stepping down from his seat and does not plan to run again.
Township residents may know Abbott from her time on the Environmental Commission, where she is now in her 10th year and currently serving as vice chairwoman. But she's quick to point out that there is a lot more to her than the Environmental Commission.
"I've had a commitment to the town through volunteering in many ways; school, church, scouts and other nonprofits. Now I'm ready to branch out into a higher level of municipal government," she said. Abbott was also on the Morris County Republican Committee for four years.
As a township resident for 17 years, Abbott said she has a lot of pride in the town. "I do feel that Chatham Township, because we've got a lot of educated people, we can be leading edge. We are a town of forward-thinking people," she said.
One of the plans she and Nonnenmacher have for the committee is to increase communications between the Township Committee and the various municipal boards and commissions.
Primary elections take place on June 7. The last day to register is May 17. Voters have until May 31 to apply for a mail-in ballot through the Morris County Election Board.