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Johnson wins another term as supervisor

| Sunday, May 6, 2012, 2:40 p.m.

In what was the centerpiece of Election Day in Salem Township, incumbent Anders Johnson came away with the prize, another six-year term as township supervisor.

Johnson, the Democrat, defeated Republican challenger Tom Ridella with 57 percent of the vote to 43 percent for Ridella.

"I guess the people kind of verified that they are still standing behind me," Johnson said last night. "I've always tried to have an honest approach and answer to everything. It wasn't always the most popular answer but I think honesty was rewarded."

The matchup was ironic because Ridella was one of the people who joined with others six years ago to put Johnson into office.

That alliance really started deteriorating after Johnson and fellow Supervisor Ron Martz took roadmaster positions with the township -- something both had pledged not to do when they ran. Martz became the full-time roadmaster while Johnson and Supervisor Bob Zundel became part-time roadmasters.

Ridella took every opportunity to remind voters about that during the campaign. He put up a sign along Route 22 that said: "Vote for Tom Ridella for township supervisor, not roadmaster."

Ridella frequently questioned the supervisors at meetings, particularly after ethics investigations of Johnson and Martz became public.

As he campaigned, Johnson played up progress he felt the township had made since he has been in office. He said the township cleared up lawsuits he blamed the previous board of supervisors for getting the township into, claimed more roads had been improved by seal-coating and touted the equipment purchases made in upgrading the public works department.

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