We’ve all seen the COVID pandemic highlight how much control governors have over the state. And it’s essential to understand that a lot of the changes made at the state level are pushed through by the legislature, the State Senators and Assembly people. Though New Jersey will not be voting on any national offices this November, knowing the importance and power of the state’s top roles should be enough to get you to the polls.
Additionally, there are key roles in county government, local seats and those on Princeton’s Board of Education that are up for grabs. Each of these positions impact your taxes and play a role in many decisions that affect your day-to-day life.
Princeton Perspectives wants to help inform you by detailing what each role does. We also aim to introduce you to the major party candidates vying for each seat. To do this, we asked the candidates to share their perspectives on the office they are pursing and why they are the best candidate for the job. We hope this helps you understand your options. The candidates are listed in the order they appear on the ballot.
New Jersey is one of only six states in the country where the Governor is the only state-wide elected official. Once elected, the governor is responsible for appointing all cabinet-level positions (with Senate approval). This position has a two-term limit, so one could choose to re-elect Phil Murphy to serve his second term or to bring in Jack Ciattarelli for a first term.
New Jersey Governor Candidates: Jack Ciattarelli (R) and Phil Murphy (D)
Jack Ciattarelli, who is running with Diane Allen as Lieutenant Governor, says his parents’ work ethic and integrity is what made him who he is today. The grandson of immigrants, Ciattarelli went to college, got his masters and is a successful businessman. He previously served Princeton for eight years as Assemblyman for the 16th District then lost his bid against Kim Guadagno to be the Republican candidate for Governor against Murphy in the last gubernatorial election.
If elected, Ciattarelli hopes to lower property taxes, upgrade infrastructure, make healthcare more affordable and support law enforcement. He intends to create parent councils to work with school boards and a new cabinet-level position to help improve New Jersey’s urban areas.
Phil Murphy, who is running with Sheila Oliver as Lieutenant Governor, says his policy decisions are shaped by his upbringing, coming from a family that lived paycheck to paycheck and where he put himself through college with loans and part-time jobs. He went on to become a successful businessman and served as Ambassador to Germany under President Obama before being elected to his first term as Governor of New Jersey.
Murphy is proud to have raised the minimum wage, expanded family leave and invested in innovation during his current term. He is also confident that his commitment during the COVID pandemic to bring in PPE and testing equipment, provide relief to businesses and set up vaccination sites played a major role in keeping New Jerseyans safe.
Every four years, all 40 State Senate seats are up for election. This year, in addition to choosing a governor you will have the opportunity to vote for the one State Senator for the 16th Legislative District, of which Princeton is a part. Kip Bateman is retiring as the State Senator, leaving no incumbent in the race. The senate works alongside the General Assembly as the legislative branch of NJ government, passing bills on policy, spending and taxes.
New Jersey State Senate Candidates (District 16): Michael Pappas (R) and Andrew Zwicker (D)
Michael Pappas spent years in local government, on Franklin Township Council, as it’s Mayor and on the Somerset County Board of Freeholders before serving a term as U.S. Congressman for New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District. In the U.S. House of Representatives, he was Assistant Majority Whip and a member of the Small Business, National Security and Government Reform committees. Today, as he works as the Township Administrator for Bridgewater, NJ, he wants to represent NJ once again, this time in the State Senate.
“The people of New Jersey have been struggling for a number of years, and those struggles worsened this past year with the onslaught of the pandemic,” Pappas explains. “Seeing the untold devastation for families who have lost loved ones and individuals whose businesses have been decimated, I had to roll up my sleeves and try to help.”
Since his time in Congress, Pappas worked to help New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands as the U.S. Small Business Administration Regional Administrator, where his experience delivering financial assistance, business and minority enterprise development and management counseling taught him skills he plans to use in the Senate.
“I hope to continue the strong leadership Legislative District 16 has had in the State Senate with Senator Kip Bateman, and I will work hard to get New Jersey back on the right track,” adds Pappas.
Andrew Zwicker is a physicist and science educator, running to become State Senator after serving in the Assembly for the 16th Legislative District for the past four years.
“The chance to move to the Senate will provide me with an even greater opportunity to advocate for the people of the 16th as we come out of an unprecedented health and economic crisis and to put forth public policies that will help ensure that NJ is an even better place to work, play, and raise a family than ever before,” states Zwicker.
To continue Senator Bateman’s efforts in environmentalism, Zwicker believes his scientific background gives him a unique perspective. He also intends to continue pushing for increased voting rights, as he has since his first bill as an Assemblyman. If elected to the Senate, Zwicker also wants to continue his work supporting small businesses and the innovation economy. He feels he is the best candidate to do so.
“There are significant differences between myself and my opponent when it comes to women’s healthcare, gun violence prevention, climate change, and more,” Zwicker notes.
All 80 seats in the General Assembly of New Jersey are filled for two-year terms every two years, in odd-numbered years. Together with the Senate, they make up the legislative body of New Jersey state government. Voting as part of the 16th Legislative District, those in Princeton will choose two people to fill the two open Assembly seats.
New Jersey General Assembly Candidates (District 16): Joseph Lukac (R), Vincent Panico (R), Roy Freiman (D) and Sadaf Jaffer (D)
Joseph Lukac has been a part of the Manville, NJ community since birth. An Electrical/Instrumental Supervisor for IBEW Local #102, he served in the US Army as a Combat Engineer for over 10 years, and now serves his town as part of Manville Borough Council. In addition to being a member of several local organizations, Lukac has also served on the Manville School Board, and is currently Chairman of the Manville Republican Municipal Committee, all roles which he says have educated him on community needs and prepared him to become an Assemblyman.
“I have been a problem-solver all my life. As an elected official in Manville, I found millions of dollars in grants, eliminated $10,000,000 in debt, balanced the budget, and prioritized preserving our environment with our Sustainable Manville and Green Teams, “Lukac details. “I will bring my problem-solving skills to Trenton and deliver results for Central Jersey.”
Lukac intends to focus on improved funding for schools that he claims will soon be overcrowded due to mandated high-density housing. He also attributes the housing to some of the severe flooding that Manville and other local communities recently faced. Lukac says state legislators need to better look out for the communities they serve.
“Our middle class, small businesses, union workers, and main streets are what make New Jersey great – but Trenton has all but forgotten about us,” claims Lukac. “Instead of improving the business climate, our current Legislators have increased our borrowing and given us less and less in return – even failing to ensure our unemployment safety net works for those who need it the most.”
Vincent Panico hopes to follow in the path of Senator Kip Bateman and turn this seat Republican. An experienced businessman, Panico works in IT and is currently working towards his MBA. Prior to that, he spent his college years working at Hunterdon Central and Purnell School.
“As I worked in schools, I developed a passion for education reform and wanted to transform today’s classroom into a better environment for our students,” Panico shares.
He was first elected to the Readington Township Board of Education in 2012, after which he joined the Board at Hunterdon Central, where he believes he has been a proven advocate and demonstrated fiscal responsibility.
“My first four years on the Hunterdon Central Board were spent fighting for a better environment for our students and educators at the High School. After being a vocal advocate and helping to hire a Superintendent, I was elected to President of the Board of Education.”
Roy Freiman is running for his third term in the Assembly for the 16th Legislative District. He says his business experience at Prudential Financial, working in data analytics and strategic planning, taught him skills he utilizes to collaborate in the Assembly.
“My single greatest accomplishment since being in the Legislature has been getting my bill, the Secure Choice Savings Program Act into law,” Freiman shares. “This legislation set up a system for residents to access retirement plans being that many jobs don’t offer one. Since its enactment, this program has been able to help 1.7 million more New Jersey residents help save for retirement and their future.”
Freiman has also spent his time in the legislature fighting for women’s reproductive rights, the environment and small businesses – a top priority should he get re-elected.
“One of my main priorities will be helping our small businesses, the backbone of our economy, to not only fully recover from the COVID-19 pandemic but to come back better than before,” adds Freiman. “As a legislator, I take very seriously the role of advocating for issues big and small together.”
Sadaf Jaffer just completed two terms as mayor of Montgomery Township, NJ where she became the first South Asian female mayor in New Jersey and the first female Muslim mayor in the United States. A postdoctoral research associate at Princeton University, Jaffer hopes to bring a fresh perspective to the Assembly by continuing to build trust and engage communities, as she did in Montgomery.
“This approach was central to my signature initiatives including Montgomery’s crisis communications plan which I spearheaded, and which helped us maintain some of the lowest COVID-19 infection and fatality rates in the state; the workshop meetings I organized for Black community members and youth activists with our police leadership to prioritize racial justice; and the Youth Leadership Council I established to elevate the voices of young people who are energized to lead,” Jaffer shares.
She wants to prioritize equitable access to healthcare at the state level and feels her experience leading during a crisis is what this role needs.
“As a member of the Assembly, I will work with my colleagues to pursue an economic recovery that creates green jobs and protects our environment, promotes civil and human rights, and empowers an inclusive public health approach, particularly to women’s and maternal healthcare,” Jaffer adds.
In addition to the state roles, Mercer County voters are voting on two county races this November, Surrogate and County Commissioner.
County Surrogate is the elected Judge of the Surrogate Court and serves many roles over Probate Court and as Deputy Clerk of the New Jersey Superior Court Chancery Division Probate Part and Family Part. When someone passes away, the Surrogate determines the passing of assets to heirs. Surrogate roles also include being the custodian of funds awarded to minors, handling probate, reviewing and certifying adoptions and appointing guardians for persons that are incapacitated.
County Surrogate Candidates: Doug Miles (R) and Diane Gerofsky (D)
Doug Miles is running for County Surrogate in an effort to end the one-party rule of County government, which he feels is costing taxpayers.
“There are no checks and balances on uninterrupted Democrat Party power and manipulation of County expenditures or legislative and policy initiatives for more than 20 years,” Miles shares. “I am concerned that the County Surrogate office and associated Surrogate Court functions may be overstaffed and under-automated via absence of modern applied technology and use of best practices such that we are wasting taxpayer dollars by as much as 20 to 30 % of a multi-million-dollar department budget that cannot be accurately counted by any inquiring taxpayer.”
Miles feels his professional experience can help him reduce the costs of County Surrogate operations and help transform them technologically.
“I have 20 years of experience in wholesale banking and investment which support a key component of wealth creation, preservation and transfer,” explains Miles. “My years as a fintech software entrepreneur are also highly relevant to applying data science and workflow automation in judicial as well as financial operating settings.”
Diane Gerofsky has served Mercer County as the County Surrogate for 25 years and is running for her sixth term. During her tenure, Gerofsky has opened satellite offices around the county in Princeton, Lawrenceville, Hopewell, Ewing, East Windsor, Robbinsville, Hamilton and Pennington. To better explain office procedures, she has written newsletters and an FAQ booklet in addition to authoring the Surrogate Bench Book, a teaching manual for other Surrogates. Colleagues have recognized Gerofsky’s strong ethics by awarding her leadership roles in numerous professional organizations.
“Under my leadership, the Surrogate’s office has gained the distinction of being a top-notch government office serving with the compassion and efficiency that our constituents expect and receive,” Gerofsky explains.
Throughout the pandemic, while the courts and Court House remained closed, Gerofsky moved the office into her home to continue to be able to serve constituents that need to verify original Wills and death certificates. If re-elected, she has plans to continue scanning historic paper files and expanding opportunities for people to utilize the Surrogate services.
“I am looking for future expansion in a new location to further enhance the staff, allow for a search room for the public, a conference room to meet families in private and a records storage area to bring all files back from outside storage,” she shares.
The other County Role on the ballot this fall is that of County Commissioner. The county level of government is run by the Mercer County Executive, working alongside the legislative body known as the Board of County Commissioners. Made up of seven members, the part-time legislators are elected for three-year terms, and this year there are three open seats.
Board of County Commissioner Candidates: Richard Balgowan (R), Michael Chianese (R), Andrew Kotula (R), Samuel Frisby (D), Kristin McLaughlin (D) and Terrance Stokes (D)
Richard Balgowan is a civil engineer and has been a Hamilton Township resident for over 50 years. Currently President and Founder of RM Balgowan Forensic & Engineering Services, Balgowan has worked as a civil engineer for the New Jersey Department of Transportation, as Hamilton’s Director of Public Works, as a bridge and highway construction manager and as a highway and municipal engineering expert. In his roles, particularly with NJDOT and Hamilton Township, he has steered many environmental practices.
“I wrote Hamilton Township’s Climate Action Plan, Green Fleet Policy and drafted a Green Building Ordinance that required commercial and municipal building construction to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards,” explains Balgowan. “I believe there is much we can do to improve our environment such as increased recycling, reduced landfilling and capturing/using methane from our landfills and wastewater treatment plants as an energy source.”
A top priority, if elected, is to better educate residents about the county recycling program so it can work more efficiently and send less to landfills. Balgowan would also like to change the Commissioners’ meeting schedule so that meetings are held throughout the county, not just in Trenton, and at a time more residents can attend. He things this will help promote transparency in county government.
“There is currently no transparency. Things that the public should be aware of are swept under the rug and kept hidden,” claims Balgowan.
Michael Chianese retired in January after 25 years in State Government. An electrical engineering by training, Chianese has held higher management positions that had him oversee computer infrastructure and manage major projects. Locally, he has handled budgets while serving on the Board of Commissioners for Mercerville Firehouse and as past GOP municipal chair of Hamilton Township.
“I managed many multi-million-dollar projects. I could give you example after example of the very big work we did. I’m an honest taxpaying person that wants to restore credibility to the county government,” shares Chianese. “I’m anxious to get in there with a fine-toothed comb and look at it to make sure they’re doing the right things.”
Chianese wants to join the Board of County Commissioners to offer better oversight because he says the current Democratic leaders have been brushing incidents, such as car issues with Brian Hughes and missing funds, under the rug.
“We all pay a lot of taxes in the county and we deserve a whole bunch better than to be lied to. And we never got to the bottom to learn what corrective actions they took,” Chianese notes. “We need a balance. We need some Republicans on there and some Democrats, that’d be a perfect formula. But it can’t be a one-party rule anymore. They can’t be trusted.”
Andrew Kotula is a lifelong New Jersey resident, who moved from East Windsor to Hamilton after seeing his taxes increase 70% over 16 years.
“With our recent move to Hamilton, four years ago, we have already experienced a property tax increase of over 25%,” shares Kotula. “When we consider that our current Governor has said publicly, ‘If you’re a one-issue voter and tax rate is your issue, we are probably not your state. Not my State? I have been living in this state my entire life and I found this to be troubling. We have a great state, and it should not be a state for only those that can afford to pay the fee to stay.”
Kotula says it’s the Governor’s statement that pushed him to run for County Commissioner, where he is eager to add a different perspective to the currently all-Democratic board.
“It is time to we had a Commission that fairly represents our entire county, and I would like to become a Conservative voice to our county and provide a conservative approach to the issues that affect everyone in our county.”
If elected, Kotula, who creates training schedules and sets and works within a budget as a Technical Instructor for Xerox, would like to see county government be more accessible. He suggests a 14-day notice on major budget votes and also recommends open meeting times shift to locations around the county and start an hour later to better welcome interested, constituents who work.
Samuel Frisby is currently serving as Chairman of the Mercer County Commissioners and is seeking re-election.
“My brand of leadership is thoughtful, dynamic, innovative, action oriented and done with integrity,” offers Frisby. “I have had the fortune of working as a leader in the private sector, Higher Education, Municipal Government as a Cabinet Member, and currently serving as the Chief Executive Officer of the County’s oldest direct services non-profit, the Capital Area YMCA, which serves Ewing, Lawrence and Trenton.”
Frisby believes we need to continue dealing with the impacts of COVID-19, supporting residents, local governments and businesses in the recovery process. If re-elected, he also wants to continue working to improve county infrastructure.
“Our County Jail is one of the oldest in the State and sits in a community without water service. Our County Airport is inadequate for any type of practical use for the volume it produces and its high occupancy rates. We have been slowly taking care of our bridge infrastructure over the past few years, but we still have so many bridges to rebuild; including the Lincoln Avenue Bridge, which will be the most expensive bridge in our County’s history,” he adds.
Kristin McLaughlin has served as an elected member of the Hopewell Township Committee since 2016, where she served as Mayor in 2019 and 2020.
“When one is elected, one shoulders the questions, hopes, and needs of every member of a community. That is a responsibility that I do not take lightly,” explains McLaughlin. “In Hopewell Township, I have focused on finding ways to do more with less. Producing a responsible, forward thinking budget has always been a priority.”
McLaughlin wants to take her experiences building community in Hopewell and use them to build better opportunities in the county, ensuring mental health and addiction programs best serve those in need, reassessing county infrastructure and transportation needs and ensuring use of county school offerings.
“It is a win-win for the County to have an educated, innovative population which can attract existing businesses and build new ones from the ground up,” McLaughlin offers. “I would like to see us invest in new bike and walking trails which link our communities together and provide ways for people to get to work that do not rely on cars. The role of government is to build and strengthen existing assets, and to create pathways to opportunity where they are needed.”
Terrance Stokes is seeking his first term as an elected official. A Trenton Central High School and University of Pennsylvania graduate, Stokes spent years working in investment banking before returning to his high school alma matter as a history teacher, academic advisor and outreach specialist. He may be new to public office but says his experience has laid a strong groundwork for this role.
“In my current capacity, I assist students, families, and schools with finding solutions to obstacles hindering them from experiencing success academically and socially. We work together to come up with outcomes that are mutually agreed upon by all parties,” shares Stokes.
As Founder and President of the Trenton Youth Development Initiative, which aims to develop and empower young children and their families, Stokes has been a leader in his community. If elected as County Commissioner, he plans expand on those experiences in office.
“My focus would be on ensuring that resources are available for families and young people in need. Additionally, I will focus on creating environments for sustainable economic growth and development as well as the efficient coordination of County services and resources.”
Princeton currently has two seats up for grabs on Council, each for a three-year term. Two Democrats are running unopposed, as no Republicans or other party candidates entered into the primary for either of the seats. Your vote demonstrates support, but there is no minimum vote required for them to win.
Princeton Council Candidates: Eve Neidergang (D) and Leighton Newlin (D)
Eve Neidergang is running for her second term on Princeton Council. Living in Princeton since 1985, Neidergang has worked for ETS and held multiple volunteer roles, including PTO President at Riverside, Friends of Princeton Public Library and with the Princeton Community Democratic Organization. Today, she works as the Watershed Institute’s Volunteer Coordinator while serving Princeton on Council.
“I’m proud of what Council has accomplished during the last two plus years, especially most recently in the face of the challenges of COVID. We responded quickly and efficiently to allow our businesses to stay open, assisted residents in need, boosted the capacity of our health department and kept taxes flat in 2020,” Neidergang shares.
She hopes to continue helping with pandemic recovery and to put a focus on environmental issues such as reconceptualizing the waste stream, adopting sustainable landscaping practices, installing electric vehicle charging stations and more.
“As a progressive Democrat, I am committed to the broad values of inclusion and social justice, climate sustainability and smart growth, and providing opportunities for our businesses and for all who work in our unique and diverse community,” offers Neidergang.
Leighton Newlin is running to take over the seat being vacated by Dwaine Williamson, who is not seeking re-election. Newlin feels his professional experience coupled with his years of volunteering in the community make him the right candidate for the role.
“As a first-time council person, and longtime resident, I am able to identify the issues, however I do not have all the answers to solve Princeton’s problems,” shares Newlin. “I do however trust myself to view and examine the processes, programming, policies, and procedures; asking the right questions and looking at all situations through a wide-angle lens, with a narrow focus on diversity, inclusivity, equity, and social justice.”
Last year Newlin retired after 30 years as the Director of Special Services at a Residential Community Release Program in Newark. Prior to that he worked in retail, first opening and owning his own shops in Boston, MA and then around the country with Reebok. But it’s his work in and around the Princeton community, as chair of the Princeton Housing Authority Board of Commissioners, co-chair of the Witherspoon Jackson Neighborhood Association and on the Princeton Democratic Municipal Committee that he feels have educated him about Princeton – where he notes the high cost of living needs to be addressed.
“It is important to me that Princeton remains a town where all families can establish and put down roots. Princeton has historically been a community for all people and my platform is Smart Growth…Wise Choices because I want to make sure that Princeton remains a town where all can put down roots and call Princeton home,” Newlin states.
Ten elected candidates sit on the Princeton Board of Education, nine from Princeton and one from Cranbury. Three of those seats are opening in 2022 for a three-year term, and there are four candidates campaigning for your vote.
Princeton Board of Education Candidates: Mara Franceschi, Jeffrey Liao, Brian McDonald and Betsy Baglio
Mara Franceschi has lived in Princeton for 11 years, during which she has dedicated many years as a volunteer in the schools on the PTO Council as well as on the Johnson Park PTO, as Treasurer and then President. With an MBA from Columbia University and as a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), she has served on Princeton’s Citizens Finance Advisory Committee and as Assistant Treasurer for Friends of the Library.
“I am an extremely proud product of a public school education, both primary and secondary school and college, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,” Franceschi shares. “I also have over a decade’s work experience in the financial services and asset management industries, working for firms such as GE Capital and Bank of America. I believe the combination of my extensive experience volunteering in the schools and my background in finance will benefit the Board in its decision making/planning.”
Franceschi is excited for the opportunity to work with the new superintendent, but also feels there remain challenges ahead due to the district’s aging facilities and its increasing student enrollment.
“Maintaining our facilities is both an investment in valuable hard assets and the minimum required to provide a clean and healthy learning environment for our children. Successfully balancing critical, necessary investments in our schools, while keeping tax increases to a minimum, is essential,” she offers.
Jeffrey Liao believes that the legal, fair and rational decision-making skills he has obtained as an Intellectual Property Attorney will provide a great advantage to the Board. He is relatively new to Princeton but is very open to listening to the community and student needs and feels his fresh perspective will benefit the important decisions that need to be made.
“In addition, by adding a representative to the Board who is an Asian American, I will be able to help the Board better take into account the perspectives of the substantial Asian American community in our schools and town and improve communication between the Board and the community it serves (in both directions),” Liao explains.
If elected to the Board, Liao intends to do what is necessary to keep schools open for in-person learning by minimizing the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks in the schools using the latest science-based precautions.
“Only by continuing such precautions as long as is necessary can we ensure that traditional, in-person learning can continue with minimal future disruptions to our children’s educational, social, and mental health needs, as well as the childcare needs of working parents, without endangering the health of our students and district staff,” Liao adds.
Brian McDonald is running for re-election to the Princeton Public Schools Board of Education after serving his first term, where he says he has put his background in finance, facilities and planning to use as chair of the Board’s Finance Committee and co-chair of its Operations committee.
“The District has dramatically improved its financial position and is one of sixteen public school districts in New Jersey with a “Triple-A” rating,” states McDonald. “Administration and Board efforts have increased financial transparency and moved us from a budget deficit to a surplus. Significantly, we have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses, and we have had declining tax increases over the past two years, with a current budget that includes a 0.56% increase in school taxes – the lowest in many years.”
As a current Board member, McDonald played a role in the hiring of new Superintendent Dr. Carol Kelley, which he says was a critical step forward for the district.
“Equity remains the Board’s top priority, as well as my own, and I will work hard to support our new Superintendent, Dr. Carol Kelley, as she seeks to build on what is great about our schools while addressing our shortcomings to ensure that every child receives an excellent education and is given the opportunity to fulfill their potential,” McDonald notes.
Betsy Baglio is running for re-election, having served as a member of the Board since 2016.
“I am running for a third term as a member of the Board of Education because I want to ensure that our students are academically, socially and emotionally supported as they return to full-day, in-person school. I also believe that the pandemic has shed light on many ways we can improve our schools, and, as an educator, I am enthusiastic about continuing to engage in the work of the Board of Education for the benefit of all students in our schools.
Baglio says she is currently the only educator on the Board and feels her unique perspective have been a great benefit to the wide-ranging committees she’s served on including Finance, Negotiations, Policy, Student Achievement, Equity and Personnel committees. One of her major tasks was finding Princeton Public School new leaders.
“During 2020 and 2021, I led the Board of Education’s interim superintendent search, the search for a superintendent search firm, and the permanent superintendent search that culminated in February of 2021 with the unanimous hiring of Dr. Carol Kelley,” Baglio explains. “The Board of Education’s permanent superintendent search process was long and arduous on Zoom, but was also collaborative, engaging and ultimately successful because of the perspective and commitment that each Board of Education member brought to this work.”
To utilize the knowledge you now have about the candidates running for office, it’s important to know how and where to cast your ballot. Click the link to read our other article, Mercer County Voting Details 2021: What You Need to Know, to learn everything you need to know about this year’s new voting rules, ballot questions and more.
Lisa Jacknow spent years working in national and local news in and around New York City before moving to Princeton. Working as both a TV producer and news reporter, Lisa came to this area to focus on the local news of Mercer County at WZBN-TV. In recent years, she got immersed in the Princeton community by serving leadership roles at local schools in addition to volunteering for other local non-profits. In her free time, Lisa loves to spend time with her family, play tennis, sing and play the piano. A graduate of the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, Lisa was raised just north of Boston, Massachusetts but has lived in the tri-state area since college. She is excited to be Editor and head writer for Princeton Perspectives!