BRICK – Mayor John G. Ducey won his second mayoral 4-year term in a landslide victory over Republican candidate Ruthanne Scaturro and independents Anthony Matthews and Rob Canfield.
The final tally was 14,349 votes for Ducey (66.49%); 6,751 votes for Scaturro (31.28%); 278 votes for Matthews; and 190 votes for Canfield. There were also 12 write-in votes cast.
Democratic council members Marianna Pontoriero, Paul Mummolo and Heather deJong were also re-elected, each of them winning over 11,600 votes while Republican council candidates Marilyn Lago, John Ciocco and Lois Turner won around 8,500 votes each.
Ducey was at a results party at the Beacon 70 Restaurant with all the council members when they heard about their win at around 9:30 p.m.
“It was very exciting, a very happy moment,” Ducey said in a phone interview on the morning after the election.
“I’m very honored that the Brick voters are giving me the privilege of serving as mayor for another four years,” he said. “I will work as hard as I have been working to keep taxes stable and to complete projects here in town.”
He said some of those projects include the completion of a privately-funded sports dome at the former Foodtown site, and completing the renovations of Bernard J. Cooke Park in the Parkway Pines residential area, Cedar Bridge Manor Park and Bayside Park on the barrier island.
Asked why he believes the Democrats made a clean sweep after the previous all-Republican mayor and council were voted out, Ducey said he believes it comes down to good governing.
“It’s not the campaigning or the mailings. We govern in a way that makes people happy to vote for us. We’ve eliminated some department heads, and there are no family members [hired],” he said.
His administration has also created family events, such as the Fall Fest, the farmer’s market and more, Ducey said.
“We are fiscally conservative, but we still get projects done,” he said.
Wyatt Earp, chair of the Ocean County Democrats, was not surprised by Ducey’s win.
“He listens. People get that he’s listening, and he acts on what he hears,” Earp said.
Republican candidate and former two-term councilwoman Ruthanne Scaturro replaced Dominick Brando in August as the party nominee after Brando dropped out because of health issues.
Before the election, Scaturro said the most important issues facing Brick was the stabilization of taxes and safety. She wanted to create conditions where “people wanted to move to Brick,” and she wanted to work more closely with Police Chief Riccio “to accomplish more safety things in town.”
While he was running for mayor, Independent candidate, and also a former two-term councilman, Anthony Matthews, said he was running because people were “sick of Brick politics.”
Rob Canfield, who never held public office, also ran as an independent. Canfield, who is a minister and works as a patient care representative for a dental company, said he wanted a more transparent government.
Two new Board of Education members were also elected: Jessica Clayton and Maria E. Foster received 8,483 and 8,302 votes respectively, while incumbent John Barton is out, having garnered just 5,955 votes.
Barton was the only board member remaining from before the 2016 election when four “clean slate” candidates were elected and gained majority control of the Board of Education.