Election Day Update

Van Drew Defeats Grossman; MacArthur, Kim Congress Race Is Nail-Biter

Republicans Dominate Local Results; Tuckerton Mayor Wins
Nov 06, 2018
Photo by: Jack Reynolds

In dreary Election Day weather that might seem appropriate for the oft-dreary tone of some campaigns this season, most notably in the hotly contested 3rd Congressional District, Ocean County voters sided with an incumbent Republican for Congress; helped elect a new congressman; voted against the incumbent Democrat for U.S. Senate; voted against a $500 million “securing our children’s future” education bond act; and re-elected one Republican incumbent and one new Republican candidate for county freeholder.

According to NJTV News on Wednesday, Democrat Jeff Van Drew defeated Republican Seth Grossman in New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District. Van Drew carried 52 percent of the cross-county district vote, while Grossman tallied 46 percent, with all voting precincts counted.

The 3rd Congressional District race between Republican Tom MacArthur and Democrat Andy Kim was still too close to call on Wednesday. With 99 percent of the precincts reporting, MacArthur had 136,408 votes (49.8 percent) to Kim’s 134,093 (48.9 percent). This race might not be final for days because of absentee and provisional ballots, or if a possible call for recount.

The 2nd District has been represented in Washington by Republican Frank LoBiondo since 1995. But LoBiondo is retiring, saying the current political atmosphere is toxic and leaves no room for a moderate such as himself. He voted, for example, against the GOP tax reform/tax cut bill because it didn’t allow New Jersey residents to deduct their state and local taxes (SALT) on their federal tax returns.

Grossman, an attorney and former Atlantic City councilman and Atlantic County freeholder, is an avid Trump supporter. Van Drew is a dentist and a conservative Democrat (he had, for example, a 100-percent rating from the National Rifle Association) who has served as a state senator from the 1st New Jersey Legislative District since 2008.

The 2nd District contains all or part of eight South Jersey counties, including all of Southern Ocean County save half of Stafford Township and all of Barnegat Township.

The 3rd District race has been one of the most closely watched in all of the country. That’s because MacArthur, a former insurance executive and a two-term Republican incumbent, authored amendments that helped push both the GOP tax plan and the Republican attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare through the House of Representatives. Not surprisingly, Kim, a Rhodes scholar and former Obama administration national security adviser, made healthcare the centerpiece of his campaign, saying his opponent attempted to kill insurance coverage for preexisting conditions.

The 3rd District is made up of 36 Burlington County municipalities and 17 Ocean County municipalities, including Barnegat Township and the western half of Stafford Township.

Locally, the Tuckerton mayor, Republican Sue Marshall, was re-elected for a second term, while Stafford Township voters elected a new mayor along with an entire six-member town council (see separate story this issue).

Here is a Wednesday, Nov. 7 update of Election Day results from voters in The SandPaper readership area.

Barnegat Township

The township committee will remain all-Republican as Linda Kropf and Pasquale Pipi won two three-year terms.

Kropf, currently a board of education member, had 5,228 votes, while Pipi had 5,026.

The Democrat tandem of Paul Whitcraft (3,960) and Daniel Ward (3,910) fell short. After running unsuccessfully last year, they tried again in 2018 to be  “new voices to counter the one-party rule.”

“I really want to thank our campaign manager,” Township Committeeman Al Bille, said Pipi. “He pushed us and encouraged us, and we’re glad our message came through.”

Kropf added, “We’re so thankful that so many voters had the confidence in us. We look to continue the progress the committee has made over the years.”

Whitcraft could not be reached for comment, while Ward declined comment.

Mayor Frank Caputo and Committeeman Joseph Lopes did not seek re-election.

School board voting included an incumbent, a former board member and a newcomer winning three-year terms on the Barnegat Township Board of Education.

Newcomer Michael Hickey led all vote-getters with 4,343. David Sherman, a board member since 2013, was next with 4,291. Lauren Sarno, a former board president and wife of current board president Scott Sarno, received 4,255.

Richard Quelch, who also ran unsuccessfully last year, received 2,955 votes.

Barnegat Light

Republican Mayor Kirk Larson and Councilmen Michael Spark and Ed Wellington were re-elected unopposed. New to the council is Republican Samuel P. Alloway III, elected unopposed on the ballot to fill a one-year unexpired term.

Beach Haven

Newcomers Daniel Allen and Jaime Baumiller ran unopposed for two borough council seats. Incumbents Jim White and Donald Kakstis did not seek re-election.

A public question proposing a tax of 1 cent per $100 assessed value to preserve open space was defeated 250-219, pending certification of any provisional votes. Had it passed, it would have resulted in a tax increase of $60 on a home assessed at $600,000

On the Beach Haven Board of Education election, incumbent Carol Labin ran uncontested for one seat.

Eagleswood Township

Republican Debra Rivas ran unopposed for re-election to township committee.

School board voting included Suzanne D’Ambrosio, unopposed for one seat.

Little Egg Harbor Township

The township committee has returned to an all-Republican government as Republican incumbent Lisa Stevens and newcomer Blaise Scibetta won over incumbent Democrat David Schlick and his Democrat running mate, Todd Nugent.

Stevens garnered 4,917 votes and Scibetta 4,748, ahead of Nugent (3,261) and Schlick (3,203).

Stevens said she was running for families and the under-served people in the township. Her campaign also centered on keeping the environment of Great Bay and Little Egg Harbor pristine, and working with the “Sustainable New Jersey” program to lower flood insurance costs.

One of her goals from the start of her tenure on the committee has been to finalize a veterans park in town. This summer the committee was able to utilize open space the township owns on Radio Road and funds from the Open Space Trust Fund to help build the park.

This was Scibetta’s first time running for elected office. His family has resided in Little Egg Harbor for more than 10 years. He has served as a member of the Little Egg Harbor Community Advisory Board.

His main issues during the campaign were to stabilize or lower taxes, help fight substance and drug addiction, bring new relevant businesses to the township, and upgrade the township parks system for families and youth.

School board voting included election of Deborah Giannuzzi (4,112 votes), Jonathon Zimmerman (3,679) and Martha Palan (2,911) to three seats. First-time candidate Jamey Carnes finished with 2,635 votes.

Long Beach Island School District

As of press time on Election Night, voters in Long Beach Township had chosen incumbent Colette Southwick and newcomer Eileen Bowker to fill two of the township’s four seats on the Long Beach Island Board of Education. Southwick and Bowker were opposed by Tom Beaty, a current board member, and first-time candidate Nathan Colmer.

Southwick lead with 865 votes, followed by Bowker (758), Colmer (507) and Beaty (456).

Southwick was raised in Beach Haven and now resides in the Beach Haven Gardens section of the township with her husband and two children, both of whom attend school in the district. She has been on the board since 2013, and currently serves as vice president.

During the campaign, Southwick noted her work ethic and willingness to listen as qualities she brings to the board. “And most importantly,” she remarked, ”I’m present – I have attended every board meeting and committee meeting, and every school event I have been invited to. I want to be here for our kids, our teachers, staff, administration and our taxpayers. I take the position seriously.”

Bowker grew up one of six children in Hamilton Township, and later raised four children of her own, all graduates of Southern Regional High School. She and her husband, Brian, reside in Holgate, where they run their business, Bowkers South Beach Deli.

Retirement from her job as an athletic trainer, Bowker stated last month, “has given me time to serve my community in areas that I have an interest.” As for what she would bring to the board, she said at the time, “I am very organized. I have an open mind. I am a team player. I am familiar with education from multiple sides. I am fair, hard-working and rational. I consider myself a lifter, not a leaner.”

Meanwhile, Kristy Raber ran unopposed to retain her seat on the school board as a representative of Surf City.

The LBI Board of Education is comprised of nine members: four from Long Beach Township, two from Surf City, and one each from Ship Bottom, Harvey Cedars and Barnegat Light. Those elected Tuesday will serve terms of three years.

Pinelands Regional School District

Karen Poklikuha ran unopposed for one seat representing Eagleswood. Patricia Chambers ran unopposed for one seat representing Little Egg Harbor.

Ship Bottom

Incumbent Ship Bottom Mayor William Huelsenbeck and Councilmen Peter J. Rossi and Joe Valyo all ran unopposed for election.

Southern Regional School District

Steven Berkheiser, Scott Waters and Keith Weidenhof ran unopposed for three seats representing Stafford, all with more than 4,000 votes. There were 151 write-in votes, not enough to affect the outcome.

Meanwhile, Long Beach Island representative R. Scott Zoladz was also elected unopposed for a one-year unexpired term.

Stafford Township School District

While two of the three open seats on the Stafford Township School District Board of Education were decided on Nov. 6, one seat’s occupant remains a mystery, albeit temporarily.

With two candidates – Tammy M. Wagner and Kevin C. Lyons Jr. – on the ballot unopposed, the likelihood of their being voted onto the board to take over two of the three positions being left behind by Tammy Nicolini, Beth Sicoli and current board president Michael Hemenway was a strong one. Ultimately, Wagner (5,521 votes) and Lyons (5,477) were elected.

But with only those two candidates unopposed on the ballot, the question at press time surrounded which write-in candidate would take the third open seat. Once the results filtered in from the Ocean County Clerk’s Office, write-in candidates had garnered an astounding 1,090 votes. According to the Ocean County Board of Elections, which write-in candidate captured the remaining open seat will not be revealed until sometime on Thursday, Nov. 8.

Surf City

Incumbent Republican Councilmen John H. Klose and James B. Russell were re-elected unopposed.


The town’s residents have retained Mayor Sue Marshall for another four years. The Republican incumbent defeated challenger and Independent candidate Paula Bell. Marshall had 776 votes to Bell’s 397.

There were two three-year seats open on the six-member council as Doris Mathisen decided not to run for re-election.

Tuckerton also returned Republican incumbent Ron Peterson (766 votes) to the dais for another three years. And in a sweep for the GOP, also elected was newcomer and lead vote-getter of the day, Frank D’Amore, with 869.

Independent Skip Deckman garnered 405 votes. Bell and Deckman ran on the “Serving the People” independent line.

When contacted at borough hall on Election Night, Marshall said she was very happy that the majority of the people of Tuckerton voted to allow her to serve again.

“They trust the job I am doing,” she said. “I do love this town. It’s a small, beautiful town, and we want to keep it that way.”

Marshall said her running mates are also happy and grateful. “We are serving the people and doing the people’s bidding.”

Marshall is a lifelong shore resident who grew up in Ship Bottom and then moved to Tuckerton with her husband, Bill, 29 years ago. She taught in Tuckerton Elementary School for 22 years. When she retired, she ran for mayor.

Marshall is a member of the Eastern Star, the Order of the Pocahontas, Rotary Club of Great Bay, Zonta, Tuckerton Seaport, the Tuckerton Historical Society, the Citizens Emergency Response Team and fire police, and president of the Tuckerton Library Association. She also enjoys being a member of the Sand and Pines Garden Club.

In the “Working for Tuckerton 2018” platform she, Peterson and D’Amore said, “Our top priority as members of the Tuckerton Borough Council is to enhance the quality of life and sense of community that makes our town so wonderful.”

Some of Marshall’s and Peterson’s accomplishments during their tenure were the consolidation and moving of borough support staff offices, police department and municipal court to the new Tuckerton Borough Complex; the design, planning and opening of South Green Street Park; completion of the Tuckerton Food Pantry facility; improvement of some water and sewer services and paving of five roads in Tuckerton Beach; various walkways and handicapped crossing upgrades; and painting and refurbishing of the water tower.

“Most of these projects were paid for with grant funding, meaning very few of your tax dollars were spent.

“All three of us realize that we have more to do for Tuckerton Borough. We will be focused on the dredging of our lagoons and Thompson Creek; continuing to hold the cap on taxes; bringing more local business to town by working on Main Street parking; and completion of the three remaining road infrastructure projects: Second Avenue, Curlew and Kingfisher roads. These challenges are our top priority, and we will continue to keep these issues very visible moving forward.”

The establishment of a historic preservation commission will also keep Tuckerton’s heritage and history alive for future generations.

“I’m so pleased to see that happen,” the mayor said. “It will open up grant opportunities, and our town will continue to be beautiful.”

School board voting included Jennifer Suralik Quintenz unopposed for one seat, and a second open seat awaited a possible write-in election, in which 59 votes were cast.

Ocean County Freeholder (2)

Gerry Little, Republican (incumbent), 134,780; Gary Quinn, Republican, 131,886;  Teddy Price, Democrat, 73,864; Vince Minichino, Democrat, 73,521.

Ocean County Surrogate

Jeffrey Moran, Republican (incumbent), 137,568; Kieran Pillion Jr., Democrat, 75,281.

Ocean County Vote, U.S. Senator

Bob Hugin, Republican, 63 percent; Robert Menendez, Democrat (incumbent), 33 percent.

Ocean County Vote, State Question $500 Million for Schools

Voting yes, 39 percent; voting no, 61 percent.

— Neal Roberts and Rick Mellerup with staff reports


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