Sign pointing to a voting location in Toms River
Sign pointing to a voting location in Toms River (Dan Alexander, Townsquare Media NJ)

Raise your hand if you voting in the New Jersey Primary Election today?  Heck raise your hand if you even know that today is primary day in the state?  I don’t see too many. Today indeed is the official primary election with the polls open until 8pm.  It will determine the Democratic and Republican candidates for various offices and my sample ballot in Ocean County finds just about everyone unchallenged when it comes to their party nod with two notable exceptions on the Republican side.

Democratic Governor Phil Murphy is running unchallenged in the primary for re-election and as of today would be the overwhelming favorite to win a second term come November.  The race is to see what GOP candidate will take him on and there are four names appearing on the ballot.  Jack Ciattarelli who finished second in the primary to then Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno in 2017 has to be considered the strong favorite over Hirsh Singh followed by Brian Levine and Phillip Rizzo. Whoever wins will have an uphill battle in a state that is strongly in the “blue” column.

The other race in Ocean County is for two spots on the Board of Commissioners, formally known as Freeholders.  Republican Gary Quinn is seeking re-election and is joined by Barbara Crea and backed by the Regular Republican Organization of Ocean County.  Challenging them are Kenneth Seda and Michael Thulen, Sr. with the winners to be heavy favorites in November.  While New Jersey is “blue” Ocean County remains very much “red” and that likely won’t be changing anytime soon.

Primary ballot 2021

Maybe the most interesting race is in Toms River where there are contested races among Republicans for all four council seats in Wards 1-4.

While roadways and lawns are filled (or littered) with political signs the turnout figures to be quite low today.  Hopefully starting tomorrow we will see those signs removed quickly by the winners and losers.

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