OCEAN COUNTY – There was no blue wave in Ocean County. Few changes were seen after the polls closed in most communities in the county.
While Republican Bob Hugin lost his US Senate race he did win Ocean County with 139,524 votes to Democrat incumbent Sen. Robert Menendez who received 74,268.
As of Wednesday morning, it was still too close to call whether incumbent Tom MacArthur or Democrat challenger Andy Kim won that seat. MacArthur maintained a slight lead over his challenger, but ballots are still being counted.
Fourth District Republican Christopher H. Smith defeated Democrat Joshua Welle with 49,744 votes to 24,028 votes in Ocean County.
Ocean County has a new Freeholder, Gary Quinn of Lacey, who took the Republican slot of long time GOP Freeholder John Bartlett who resigned earlier this fall due to health reasons. Quinn has been a long-time member of the Lacey Committee having served several times as the township’s mayor.
Quinn received 114,624 votes in the election. He ran with fellow party incumbent Gerry P. Little who received 117,443 votes in the race. Both candidates defeated Democrats Teddy Price who received 62,624 votes and Vince Minichino who received 62,142.
Republican Jeffrey W. Moran easily won re-election as county surrogate with 119,986 votes to Democrat challenger Kieran E. Pillion Jr. with 63,767.
Most mayoral races were uncontested but Jackson Township’s nonpartisan election included a contentious mayoral race which had incumbent Mayor Michael Reina win re-election for another four-year-term with 12,621 votes against challenger Tracie Yostpille who received 6,905.
The two differed sharply on the township’s recent development projects and the direction of the township in relation to future development.
Another heated race was in Lacey Township where Republicans proved successful with former committeeman Mark Dykoff returning to office with 6,673 with his incumbent running mate Tim McDonald receiving 6,916.
Lacey Democrats Shawn Judson and Edward “Ted” Kownacki received 3,828 and 3,883, respectfully.
In Stafford Township, the self-proclaimed “Stafford Conservatives” won over their Democrat challengers. Gregory Myhre bested mayoral challenger Joe Mangino 6,404 to 5,086. Thomas Steadman, Anthony Guariglia, Michael Pfancook, Robert Henken-Siefken and Paul Krier won over Democrat council challengers Brian White, Joanne Sitek, Kevin Teeple, Nicole Downs, Chris Marzullo and Denise Pobicki.
In South Toms River, local Democrats won over Republicans. Gregory Handshy beat Sanford Ross Jr. for mayor, while Samuel S. Fennel and Robert Taylor won over Republicans Thomas R. Rolzhausen and William E. Gleason.
The biggest upset in board of education elections was probably in Manchester, where incumbent Board of Education President Donald Webster Jr. Lost his reelection bid. Voters were asked to vote for two out of six choices and chose incumbent Christopher Nolan and Bryan H. Jenner. Sarita Dodd, Gayle Mount, Webster and Anthony S. Goltsch trailed behind the winners by thousands of votes.
Brick, with three open Board seats, chose Stephanie A. Wohlrab, Nicole Siebert and Victoria Pakala, who received thousands more votes than Robert “Rob” Canfield, Edward X. Young and John Barton.
In Jackson, with three seats open, incumbent Scott Sergeant was edged out by Gustavo “Gus” Acevedo. Vicki Grasso and John Burnetsky won their reelection bids.
Lacey voters chose two Board members out of pool of six: Frank Horvath and Regina Discenza defeated Amanda Buron, Robert Klauss II, David Silletti and Gregory Pancza.
In Toms River, with two Board seats available, Jennifer Howe and Joseph Nardini defeated challengers Robert Onofrietti Jr., Erica Cirillo, Christopher Raimann and Danielle Lebright.
There were several municipal ballot questions during the election. Toms River and Brick’s questions were defeated.
In Toms River voters opposed their question 17,094 to 11,255 while in Brick voters defeated their question with 12,720 votes to 12,593 votes.
According to the Ocean County Clerk’s Office website the county has 408,860 registered voters. On Nov. 6 194,359 voters turned out at the polls while 30,453 voted through mail.
Jennifer Peacock contributed to this report.