South River voters re-elect incumbents to school board

SOUTH RIVER–Voters in South River have re-elected incumbents Kelly Cruz, Renae Bush and Cheryl Beck to the Board of Education.

Cruz registered 27 percent (2,306) of the votes, Bush recorded 24 percent (2,062) of the votes and Beck collected 24 percent (2,067) of the votes, securing the three, three-year terms, according to the Middlesex County Election results.

Results are not official until certified by the county.

“I am grateful to the residents of South River for their support and trust in me. I will continue to work hard to assist our students and staff so together we can make our school district one we can all be proud of,” Cruz said.

Beck said, “Glad to see that there were others who want to be involved with the education of our students. Nice to see the Board of Education election to be as important as the other elections taking place on the same day. With the newest layout version of the ballot that the county made, the voter didn’t have to go looking for the Board of Education portion of the ballot, like in past years.”

Bush said, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who voted for me in my bid for re-election to the South River Board of Education. Over the next three years, I look forward to working with other board members, staff, administrators and community members to continue to build on our strong educational programs, increase student achievement, and maintain the safety and security of our students and staff.”

Newcomers Miguel Silva Ribau received 17 percent (1,426) of the votes and Anita Chadha earned seven percent (588) of the votes, according to the election results.

“Upon seeing the results of the Board of Education election, I went to the Ria Mar, where the Republican Party was looking at the results, to congratulate my opponents on their electoral victory,” Ribau said. “It was a hard-fought election and though the results weren’t what I had hoped for, I will keep my head held up high and tread forward. I will continue to fight for what’s right and will always hold our elected officials to account.”

After the school shooting earlier this year in Parkland, Florida, Ribau said the community came together to demand that action be taken and through collective efforts, the board finally incorporated four Special Law Enforcement Officers to protect the districts’ students.

“As a result of this, our schools are far safer than they were this time last year. We, as a community, came together for the common good, and I am so proud of that. We have accomplished so much in this year alone, and I am so incredibly grateful for all of the people who have brought me here,” Ribau said. “I am so blessed to have received such strong support in our community and will continue to fight for the good of our town. We are not finished.”

Chadha said, “The reason I ran for the Board of Education is because I am an educator and I did workshops with teachers and I retired a distinguished teacher. … My hope was that if [I was elected] I could have brought my expertise to make a difference to better improve our schools. … I am very disappointed.”

Contact Vashti Harris at vharris@newspapermediagroup.com.