Home Government Elections Brando to Challenge Ducey for Mayor; Council Candidates Announced

Brando to Challenge Ducey for Mayor; Council Candidates Announced

Mayor John Ducey and challenger Domenick Brando. (Campaign Photos)
Mayor John Ducey and challenger Domenick Brando. (Campaign Photos)

Former GOP Councilman Domenick Brando, a retired police officer who has been highly critical of the mayor’s policies, will challenge him to lead Brick Township in the 2017 mayoral election.

Ducey, a Democrat who works as a local attorney, along with Democratic council members Paul Mummolo, Healther deJong and Marianna Pontoriero, are running for re-election. Democrats control both the mayor’s office and all seven seats on the council.

For the Republicans, a new slate of candidates – none of whom have previously held public office – have been supported by their party to run for council. Marilyn Lago, John Ciocco and Lois Turner will vie for seats on the governing body this year,


Republican Club President John Catalano said he was “proud that the selection process chose this truly qualified and distinguished group that represent diversified and experienced business, financial and pragmatic problem solvers.”

GOP County Committee Chairman Brian DeLuca said the individuals selected to run represent a cross-section of the community, from seniors to parents struggling to balance the cost of life and property tax bills.

Veteran GOP campaign manager Al Cartine will return to run the GOP’s municipal campaign this year, after the party last tapped retired state Sen. Andrew Ciesla to be campaign manager for an unsuccessful run.

Mitch Seim, a campaign consultant for the Democrats, said Ducey’s approval numbers in internal polls are running as high as 70 percent, spurred by his elimination of red light cameras in the town as well as a stable tax rate, including a tax cut proposed this year.

“We’ve accomplished a lot of the last three-plus years, but I still there this is more work that can be done,” said Ducey.

The mayor pointed to further reducing the township’s debt – under his administration, it has been reduced by $18 million – and continuing on with new anti-drug programs, such as the Brick Township Police Department’s participation in an initiative that allows addicted persons to come to the police department for help.

Ducey also touted his record on spending, under which taxes increased below the state’s 2 percent cap under his administration, and were cut in the 2017 budget.

“I hope everyone recognizes all the hard work that we’ve put in,” said Ducey.

According to a Republican party statement:

Brando, 49 is a retired police officer who suffered debilitating injuries while on the job. He believes “that we need to realistically tackle and face up to one of the worst drug epidemics in Ocean County.” He is a graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson with a BS in Engineering and has two children. Brando stated that he will articulate his agenda in the following months.

Lago, 69 is a 44-year resident and a retired award-winning Toms River teacher and has 3 children She is a graduate of Seton Hall and holds a Master Degree. She has been an active volunteer in various groups including PAL and BMAC and has dedicated her life working with children. She believes that “more transparency and information on township matters are needed “We are not reaching our voters. She further agrees that an informed taxpayer would not condone the secrecy that is carried on by the current administration.

John Ciocco, 52, two children in the Brick school system and a resident for 20 years. He is a graduate of St John’s University with an MBA. He is a past President of Rotary Club. He has served as a Commissioner of the Brick Housing Authority and the Brick Municipal utilities Authority. He is a business owner and has extensive experience in the financial sector. Ciocco stated that he “knows how to put together an efficient budget that can save tax payers more than the laughable but sad proposal of a $15 tax cut proposed by the Mayor and his lock stepped Council.”

Lois Turner, 59 is a 30-year resident and raised 2 children in town.She earned a BS degree at Montclair State University and is employed in the insurance industry. Her husband is a retired teacher and coach. Turner said while she is new to the political process she was driven to come off the sidelines and offer her passion for working “for the recovery of this once safe and beautiful Township that her family chose to call their home.” Turner has personally seen the “tragic effect of drugs on the youth of the township and the sadness of foreclosures brought on by unaffordable taxes.”

Pontoriero is a local family law attorney, deJong works for a nonprofit group supporting veterans and Mummolo has had a long career in the publishing and medical fields.

Seim said Ducey  and his all-Democratic Council “have managed to convince Brick’s voters to ignore party lines on the local level,” winning sound victories in a town that voted for President Donald Trump, Gov. Chris Christie and GOP candidates for county and state offices.

In the last mayoral election in Brick, Ducey defeated Republican Joseph Sangiovanni by 22 points, reversing a trend at the top of the ticket that saw Christie win Brick by a 3-1 margin.

  • Smokin

    Good luck Brando team ! Long battle ahead let the trash talk begin run on facts crime drugs high taxes people can’t afford to live in brick and they are moving out school enrollment down !

    • Rthom

      Moronic… Sandy is a driving factor.

      • Smokin

        So the democrats blamed acropolis and now blaming Sandy ???

      • realcheeseyo

        i blame you.

      • Smokin

        It doesn’t matter I don’t sit on the council and make bad decisions and blame it on someone or something else ..as long as we live in the his town we deal with it till someone steps up and changes it ….. and I know your going to say why don’t I do it’s not worth taking a chance and getting the trash thrown at myself and family …Florida in near future !!!

      • KaayC

        Yep, that and stinko economy, still.

  • Frank Rizzo

    I hope the debilitating injury he suffered is not something like a bad back or a bad wrist……where did he serve as a police officer and for how long and how was he injured

    • realcheeseyo

      hang nails are a bitch.

    • J W

      If I recall, it was an injury from his second cop job. The one paying him a second pension. Might be tennis elbow from dipping donuts in coffee for all I know.

      • east coast resident

        JW and Frank Rizzo are in agreement!!!! Could it be that Trump will be leaving office soon?

      • Spencer Trilby

        Hey J W, wasn’t your injury from picking my cotton?

      • J W

        This must be Domenick Brando’s profile. I’ve clearly hit a nerve.

  • Phil McCracken

    Ducey and the democrats are enjoying the 25% Acropolis tax increase that they ran against.
    Thats the only reason taxes have been stable last few years.
    No Acropolis tax increase, no stable taxes.
    Brando has to bring home that point.
    Brando has to make a “Contract for Brick Taxpayers”.
    He needs to put in writing what he will do.
    Ducey and Fozman promised not to take cadillac health insurance, but they did.
    Put it in writing Brando. Its your only chance.

  • Phil McCracken

    This should be some battle.
    Remember the “Thrilla in Manilla”?
    This will be the “Thrilla in Herbertsvilla”.
    The ” the R.I.N.O vs. the Albino “

  • realcheeseyo

    Realistically how is a local Mayor going to “realistically tackle and face up to one of the worst drug epidemics in Ocean County.” This problem is all over the country and started almost 20 years ago. Claiming to have some kinda magic bullet is empty talk.

    • Frank Rizzo

      I agree mostly…however local mayors could tell their PD’s to step it up..stop everything that moves…and zero tolerance to shoo the bad guys to easier places to live and do business…Ducey and the new chief seem to have done just this and police are making more raids and arrests which we need to support them.

      • realcheeseyo

        It seems like we are seeing more arrests by the day which is awesome. Heroin is a complex problem and I think the current Mayor is doing a good job. To claim you have some magic plan is just nonsense.

  • J W

    Remember when Brando’s construction company fraudulently stole money from customers and got caught? Then when somebody pointed this out, he threatened to sue them for slander but never did? I do.

    • Spencer Trilby

      Remember when Africans lived in Africa?

    • Andy Pat

      Remember when he was seen raking at sports field and lifting weights (pretty good for physically disabled) while collecting paycheck from MUA. He was actually a disabled pension collector, Councilman, MUA employee and owned various busniesses all at the same time. Now he wants the voters and taxpayers to give him another free ride!
      NO THANKS!!

  • Phil McCracken

    What ever happened to Dan Toth?

  • east coast resident

    Ducey has been a good and responsive mayor. let’s not forget Acropolis and the res of the republicans. They messed up the town. With Trump being in the president’s office, we can’t afford a Republican in town hall. VOTE FOR DUCEY

    • KaayC

      I agree Mr. Ducey has been a responsive mayor. If you call the town office you get a response within a reasonable time frame, unlike his predecessor. Under his ageis we had our development’s roads repaved, a step up in police enforcement against drugs including bike patrols and the introduction of the summer market at Windward Beach. When approached about another local area community issue, he could not help and had the decency to respond and say so. I believe he is deserving of a second term.
      Areas to improve, in my opinion, are leaf pick up and removal – (we need more trucks) and filling empty storefronts.

  • Phil McCracken

    I hope the Russians rig this election so Brando wins.

  • Andy Pat

    If triple dipper Brando from the failed Acropolis regime is the best the repub party of Brick can do they are in deep do-do. He has more baggage than Samsonite. I suspect he is willing to be a sacrificial lamb so he can be given another BS job (probably at County or some other R-controlled town) in addition to his 70G pension he receives for 12 years as a policeman. We have seen this movie (starring Brando) before!

    • KaayC

      “More baggage than Samsonite” lol luv how you phrased that! It is also a note to consider.

  • Chief Wahoo

    A lawyer who said he wouldn’t take health insurance paid by the taxpayers for a part time job. Some would this a liar.

    And a 49yo retired policeman being paid a pension by taxpayers to do nothing at age 49. Some would call this a public taker.


    • Rob

      Part time? When you look at the budget, he is getting paid as full time, at least in the most recent budget. (Last year)