Winds of Change in Trenton
It is certainly not a surprise that political newcomer Phil Murphy was elected Governor of New Jersey on Tuesday as his victory by 14 per cent pretty much backed up what the polls had predicted.
Murphy will become the first Democratic governor since Jon Corzine and the two have similar backgrounds. Let’s hope his tenure is a bit more successful. The 60-year old Monmouth County resident indicated during his victory speech that the election results were an indictment against President Trump but for many New Jersey voters it was more a case of voting against current governor Chris Christie who approval ratings have dropped to historic lows.
That was just too much of an obstacle for Lt. Governor and Republican Kim Guadagno to overcome, even though she carried Ocean County by 40,000 votes and Monmouth County (where both she and Murphy reside) by 22,000 votes. Maybe more than in another state being governor of New Jersey comes with a lot of power and Murphy with a Democratic majority in the senate and assembly should be in position to push his agenda.
While Republicans as usual dominated in Ocean County there were some major highlights for Democrats in two of the biggest towns. In Toms River, Democrats won three of the four council seats up for election with Republican Maria Maruca the only one to win re-election.
In Brick incumbent mayor John Ducey led a Democratic sweep with all three of his running mates retaining their spots on the township council.
The GOP did roll to easy victories in Ocean County in races for state senate and assembly and freeholder where Joe Vicari won another term by 26,000 votes. When it comes to county politics the Democrats present little or no obstacle to Republican dominance but party leaders will take some consolation in the big wins in Toms River and Brick.
By the way for those who don’t think their vote counts, in Belmar, incumbent Democrat Thomas Brennan defeated Joshua Vallario for a council seat by one vote, 986 to 985. I’m sure that one will be double and triple checked.