By ROSE SGARLATOAndover Township — With less than two weeks to Election Day, Mayor Mike Lensak is not giving up the ship.
After losing the June primary to newcomer Ellsworth (Ben) Bensley Jr. by 38 votes, Lensak is determined to try again. To that end, he is campaigning as a write-in candidate on Nov 3.
With six years under his belt, Lensak believes Andover Township is heading in the right direction in general and when it comes to paying down debt in particular.
The candidates will be vying for two open seats on Andover Township’s committee. The three-year terms begin January 2016.
Deputy Mayor Janis Mc Govern took most of the votes, with 346, at the June 2 primary. Bensley Jr. followed behind her with 312, and Lensak taking 274.
Friends and supporters of the mayor recently put the hardcore press on him at Andover’s horseshoe tournament a few weeks ago.
“Everyone was coming up to me and telling me that I can’t let the primary and low turnout determine the future,” said Lensak. “People thought I was a shoe-in.”
He attributes his loss in June to voter apathy resulting in a low turnout at the polls.
According to the Sussex County Board of Elections, 569 registered voters casted their ballots in June.
The history is not clear on the success of write-in candidates in Sussex County, especially since it is primarily a Republican region, where often candidates are unopposed in November elections.
“I lost by a small amount, and I feel that I am better qualified than Ben Bensley,” Lensak said.
The mayor is hoping to grab some independents and maybe even the rare Democrat, but knows the road ahead is challenging.
“I have to do a big push over the next two weeks," he said. "I am planning to go door-to door, use social media and make a lot of phone calls.”
With 4,147 registered voters in Andover Township, he is optimistic and determined.
“I am going to give it at least one more shot,” Lensak promised.