Karen Bew was re-elected to Brigantine City Council Tuesday, and two of her fellow Republicans unseated incumbent Democrats in the Nov. 8 election.
Bew retained her 1st Ward seat with 830 votes to challenger Jack Heil's 346. In the 2nd Ward, Republican challenger Michael Riordan unseated incumbent Lisa McClay 466-430, and Dennis Haney unseated incumbent John Withers 562-435 in the 3rd Ward.
Richard DeLucry was the lone Democrat to retain his council seat, defeating challenger Angelo Sciarra 487-378 in the 4th Ward.
Haney came under attack in political advertisements leading up to the election for allegations of impropriety regarding his property taxes – allegations he vehemently denied during the public-comment portion of council's Nov. 2 meeting.
In a video posted to Facebook Tuesday night (Facebook.com/The-Clear-Choice-for-Brigantine), the Republican candidates thanked their supporters at a post-election party at The Cove, and Haney reinforced his stance that no wrongdoing took place.
“I really, truly want to thank you for voting for me, for educating yourselves and recognizing what is right and what is utter nonsense,” he said. “You cannot fool the voters. They're a smart bunch, and that's what we showed today.”
“When we needed a candidate for the 3rd Ward, we met with Dennis and said, 'This is not really that bad of a process – you knock on some doors, you talk to the people, and the next thing you know you're elected,'” Mayor Phil Guenther says in the video. “Dennis found out how nasty things could be. He went through a personal attack on him and his family and the hard work they've done, but he survived and it made him work even harder.”
On the county level, Republican Rich Dase of Galloway retained his seat as the District 4 representative of the Atlantic County Board of Chosen Freeholders. District 4 encompasses Absecon, Brigantine, Galloway and Port Republic. Dase defeated Democratic challenger Steve Stokes 11,346 to 10,652.
U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo won a 12th two-year term to represent the state's 2nd District in Congress. The second district includes all of Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and Salem counties, and parts of Camden, Gloucester, Ocean and Burlington counties. LoBiondo turned away Democratic challenger David Cole 53,678 to 41,386.
Two ballot questions were voted on in this general election. The first was whether or not to allow casino expansion into northern New Jersey, and that possibility was voted down statewide by more than 1.5 million votes, making it the most lopsided ballot referendum in state history. In Brigantine, the vote against North Jersey casinos was 3,669 to 185.
The second ballot question was whether or not to dedicate New Jersey's recently imposed 23 cent gas tax exclusively to transportation projects. Some 54 percent of voters said yes to an amendment that would commit all gasoline and diesel fuel tax revenues to the state Transportation Trust Fund. Brigantine voters approved the measure 1,926 to 1,858.