Long Branch Mayor-elect John Pallone did not show up Tuesday night to celebrate his landslide victory over incumbent Mayor Adam Schneider because he had heart surgery earlier in the day.
Councilwoman Mary Jane Celli, one of Pallone’s running mates who was reelected on Tuesday, shocked the enthusiastic crowd of supporters gathered at the Italian American Memorial Association clubhouse on West End Ave. with her announcement that the mayor-elect had been hospitalized earlier in the day, according to a source who was present at the party.
The seriousness of the mayor-elect’s condition and his expected recovery time were not announced.
Pallone defeated Schneider with 2,908 (62%) votes to the mayor’s 1,549 (33%), with Board of Education Member Avery Grant garnering 257 votes.
In addition to Celli, Pallone’s other running mates for Council, Lorenzo “Bill” Dangler, Rose M. Widdis, Mario R. Vieira, and Anita Vooght were each elected by comfortable margins.
The Schneider camp, unaware of Pallone’s health scare, gathered at Charlie’s Ocean Grill to watch the results come in. Expecting a closer race and hoping for a victory, the mayor’s team and supporters were stunned by their margin of defeat.