RELEASE: Westfield Republicans Launch Diverse Slate of Candidates Working to Unite our Community

February 17, 2021

For Immediate Release

Westfield, NJ – Today, Westfield Republicans announced five highly qualified candidates running for the offices of Mayor and Councilperson in each Ward. This diverse group of candidates seeking to serve the community is running as a team, putting Westfield before politics and working to unite our community. 

“Today’s severe national political climate has divided this community,” said JoAnn Neylan, candidate for Westfield Mayor. “I’m running to reunite Westfield around excellent public service. We need to get back to talking to our neighbors and working together to solve the problems facing our town. As your Mayor, I will listen to all residents – ensuring every person’s voice is heard – and I will always put politics aside and do what is best for Westfield.”

JoAnn and her husband raised their three children in Westfield. She formerly served as an Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn where she helped put sexual predators behind bars. From 2004-2019 she served as Westfield’s Second Ward Councilwoman. She enters the race with deep-rooted experience in local government. As the former Chair of the Finance Policy Committee, and hands-on leader during Hurricanes Sandy and Irene, she understands what it takes to implement fiscal discipline without sacrificing best-in-class government services. 

Amanda Como, candidate for Ward 1 Council added, “My family fell in love with Westfield 14 years ago and has lived here ever since. Needless to say a lot has changed over the course of those 14 years. Most recently, it feels like there’s a toxic divide trickling down from the national political scene. I am a helper and leader by nature and have decided to take action to run and serve my community in the hopes of bringing us forward together.”

Amanda is an entrepreneur and small business owner. She is a dedicated volunteer, having served as the Westfield Welcome Club Fundraising Chair and a volunteer Girls’ Basketball Coach for the Westfield YMCA, Westfield Recreation Department and Westfield Basketball Association Travel Program. She was a coach for the Girls Softball League of Westfield, Girl Scout leader and troop Variety Show Coordinator, and was frequently class parent during her children’s years at Franklin Elementary School.

“I am ready and eager to bring my leadership experience and business savvy mindset to the Westfield Town Council as a candidate for Ward 2,” said Denise Garrett. “I am committed to putting community before partisan politics, and as Councilwoman, I will champion transparency and communication, fiscal responsibility and accountability, the preservation of our small-town atmosphere and values, and ensuring we bring our children top-quality sports programs and facilities.”

Denise is a compliance professional at one of the world’s foremost financial institutions. She currently holds the position of Executive Director serving as the Americas Head of Infrastructure Compliance, leading coverage for the Firm’s Operations Divisions within the Institutional and Wealth Management businesses. As a mother to three young children, Denise is a passionate member of the community. She is an active parishioner at the Parish Community of St. Helen’s, teaching Faith Formation children’s classes. Denise is also an active part of the Wilson School community as a PTO volunteer and class parent. Denise and her husband Bill settled in Westfield 16 years ago as newlyweds with the hope of growing their family in a thriving town with traditional values, intimate atmosphere, and deeply connected sense of community.

“When serving this country in Law Enforcement and the military, politics wasn’t even an afterthought,” said Shawn Mullen, Ward 3 Council candidate. “Serving on local government should be no different. I believe in putting community first and giving back as evidenced by my background. Westfield has offered my family so much over the years and now it’s my time to give back to Westfield.” 

Shawn, a 22-year resident of Westfield, is a retired FBI agent with a long career in public service, including more than two decades as an officer in the US Army Reserve. As an FBI agent, Shawn investigated fraudsters, drug dealers and violent criminals. He led a multi-agency task force that arrested dozens of individuals who defrauded public programs and recovered hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. Shawn has also served his local community for over 20 years as a member of the American Legion, Martin Wallberg Post #3. During the 2003 Iraq War, he ran the local Blue Star Banner program, which recognized the families of Westfield service members deployed to the war zone.

“At the local level, it is important to have a bias towards action and get things done. The only way we can overcome the challenges before us today is as a unified Westfield, putting party politics aside,” said James Restivo, candidate for Westfield Town Council Ward 4. “As Councilman, I will work hard for you to preserve our tax dollars, improve our parks and fields, and rebuild trust between the town and local government. I will work with all council members to erase the lines that have divided us and put the needs of Ward 4 residents, along with the entire Westfield community, at the heart of every decision.”

James and his family have lived in Westfield for over 13 years, raising their 2 children in a town that has “just always felt like home.” He and his wife, Jennifer, are active in the McKinley School community, Westfield sports and are big supporters of the Westfield Music Programs. James is currently employed at an industry leading organic and all-natural sweetener company here in New Jersey, focusing on marketing and managing national sales accounts.

Mayor, JoAnn Neylan – Read more about JoAnn 

Ward 1 Council, Amanda Como – Read more about Amanda

Ward 2 Council, Denise Garrett – Read more about Denise 

Ward 3 Council, Shawn Mullen – Read more about Shawn 

Ward 4 Council, James Restivo– Read more about James