JACKSON – Members of the governing body criticized the president and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy recently in regards to vaccine and mask mandates.
The all-Republican governing body has been very critical of the Democratic governor in the past and during a recent session, Councilmen Steven Chisholm and Nino Borrelli both called out President Joe Biden and Murphy, who was narrowly re-elected on Election Day, regarding COVID-19 vaccination mandates as well as mask requirements for students in schools.
Both issues have been the topic of debate across the country and those subjects have drawn large crowds to Jackson Board of Education meetings in recent months. Both subjects have also been referenced by Mayor Michael Reina and members of the governing body during council meetings.
The governor was under fire when a staff member was secretly recorded by a conservative political organization, saying that additional mandates would be imposed by the governor after election day. Governor Murphy denounced those statements saying they were untrue a few days afterward and prior to Election Day on November 2.
“Freedom is not unfortunately what it once was in New Jersey. No government has the right to put something in your body by force or coercion and that is what is happening,” Chisholm said. “Doing so is a gross violation of your freedom and of the American spirit.”
Borrelli said “we are at a crossroads in New Jersey. We need a governor who will be attentive to the needs and concerns of suburban towns like Jackson as opposed to someone who is toxic and indifferent.”
Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli was no stranger to Jackson residents during this year’s campaign season. He came out to the Jackson National Night Out event held in August and held a town hall event in October. The former assemblyman visited other areas of Ocean County such as Toms River and Lacey townships and the borough of Lavallette as well as Howell Township in Monmouth County.
Ocean County voters strongly backed the candidate. Murphy who was trailing the GOP candidate on Election Night pulled into the lead by the next morning and made an acceptance speech later that day having won with a narrow margin.
Murphy underperformed in a number of traditional strong Democrat communities while Ciattarelli’s performance was stronger than expected in several traditional Republican counties such as Ocean, Monmouth and Burlington. The majority of registered voters in New Jersey are Democrats.