Linden mayoral race headed for runoff

LINDEN – Voters decided two city council races Tuesday, but were split on who should be in the mayor’s office for the next four years.

After a clerical error showed just seven votes separating the three mayoral candidates, the final tally of Tuesday’s ballots indicated Charles Moore took 336 votes while incumbent Mitzi Gates had 235 and Joe L. Young finished with 229. With the provisional ballots yet to be counted, Moore is uncertain who his opponent in the run-off will be.

“I am proud of the people who supported me. Now it’s time to get back to work,” Moore said. “I have faith in the people of Linden that they will elect the best person in the runoff, whether that’s my opponent or me.”

Moore did not offer an endorsement of himself after Tuesday’s vote, instead deferring to the voters to again determine who should lead them until 2016.

“We’ll let the people of Linden decide (in the runoff). I’ll never be guilty of playing politics with my kids or anyone else’s kids,” Moore said. “I feel like that’s what’s happened in the last year with the athletic field.”

Gates declined to comment until the results of the provisional ballots are revealed and the candidates for the runoff are determined.

Linden will get one new city councilman after William Bryant beat John Lankster 112-94 to take District 3. That seat came open when District 3 incumbent Richard Lankster was shifted to District 4.

District 4 saw incumbent Neal Jackson beat Richard Lankster 94-69.

Dennis Breckenridge, Jan Cannon and Mike Carlisle, all incumbents, each ran unopposed in their respective districts.

The runoff election is set for Oct. 9. The candidates for the runoff will be announced Tuesday after the provisional ballots are counted.