Mercer County is first among all counties in the Garden State when it comes to women’s political representation, based on city council, freeholder, and mayoral positions. That’s according to the Center for American Women and Politics, a unit of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.
Twenty-eight women serve on city councils in Mercer County. That’s an increase of three seats over last year. Women make up 41 percent of 68 council members in the county. (Women hold 837 city council seats in the state, or just 27 percent of all 3,126 city council seats statewide.)
The top five counties for women’s representation on city councils are Mercer (41 percent), Hudson (36 percent), Camden (32 percent), Somerset (32 percent), and Essex (32 percent). No county in the state has gender parity in city councils. Two counties, Somerset and Bergen, saw double-digit increases in women city councilors this year. But in five counties — Union, Burlington, Cape May, Salem, and Cumberland — the number of women on city councils dropped. Salem County is the lowest-ranked county for women office holders. It went from 13th place last year, having lost women mayors, council members, and freeholders. Cumberland is the lowest-ranking county for women’s representation on city councils.