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Westwood Republicans Take Council Seats

Peter Grefrath and Ray Arroyo were each ahead of their opponents by several hundred votes after unofficial results were tallied Tuesday night.

Peter Grefrath and Ray Arroyo were declaring victory in their run for the Westwood Council Tuesday night after unofficial results put them each ahead of their opponents by several hundred votes.

Republicans Arroyo and Grefrath, an incumbent, and Democrats Ruth "Angel" Nass and David Fischer sought the two available seats.

"We went up against tow very good competitors in this election," Grefrath said.

Nass said she did not expect mail-in and provisional ballots would be able to turn the results into her favor. Fischer could not immediately be reached for comment.

The preliminary totals, which include votes cast in borough polling locations but not mail-in or provisional ballots, have Grefrath with 2,506 votes, Arroyo with 2,353 votes, Fischer with 1,846 votes and Nass with 1,811 votes.

Borough Clerk Karen Hughes noted that the results were not yet official. Because of damage and power outages caused by Hurricane Sandy, there may be a higher-than-usual number of mail-in and provisional ballots, which could sway the final results.

Grefrath and Arroyo said they were looking forward to working with their fellow council members to keep taxes down during their terms, while also undergoing improvements in town.

Grefrath said he was anticipating continuing his work with the upcoming Broadway resignalization and improvements to Veterans' Memorial Park during his new term. Arroyo said he hoped to help preserve existing businesses in the downtown while also welcoming new business to bolster the area.

More than 4,700 voters turned out for the election this year (final numbers were not immediately available), compared to 5,664 for the last presidential election in 2008 and 2,753 for last year's general election. There were also 344 of mail-in ballots and 42 provisional ballots cast in 2008, compared to 105 mail-in and 7 provisional ballots cast last year. For the last presidential election, 79 percent of registered voters in Westwood voted.

The total number of mail-in and provisional ballots for this year's election were not yet available Tuesday night.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Jim Leggate at Jim.Leggate@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

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