Brick Mayor John Ducey won a second term in November with about 65-percent of the vote. Up the Democratic ticket, gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy took just about 35 percent of the vote in town – a point Murphy, who won almost as resoundingly statewide, made sure to joke about while swearing Ducey into office Jan. 1.
“I came to see what happened,” quipped Murphy, who takes office Jan. 16.
Murphy also swore two council members, Paul Mummolo and Marianna Pontoriero, into fresh terms. Superior Court Judge Mark Troncone swore in Councilwoman Heather deJong to her second term.
Murphy, who delivered a few minutes of remarks before the ceremony, complimented Brick’s parks, its Summerfest celebration and its tradition while congratulating the incoming officials. Brick is the only Ocean County town completely in the hands of Democrats. County Chairman Wyatt Earp and Union County Sheriff Joseph Cryan were on hand for the pomp and circumstance, which also included bag pipers and a flag presentation by the township’s VFW post.
“This is a community I’ve always enjoyed coming to,” said Murphy, who was upbeat, but also aware of the state’s serious fiscal issues.
“We’re a lot stronger if we get there together,” said Murphy, who conceded “New Jersey will never be the cheap place to live.”
But he pledged to work with mayors, council members and administrators to provide a high level of service from the state government.
“We’ve all got our great partisan passions, but the fact of the matter is, this is a time for the state to close ranks and work together,” said Murphy. “There’s too much wind blowing at us from all directions, this isn’t a question about what party you’re in, this is a question about smart governing and doing what’s best for your constituents.”
Ducey touted numerous accomplishments during his first term which helped win a second, mainly focusing on everyday issues such as rebuilding parks and removing red light ticket cameras, but also referencing his popular Facebook Live question-and-answer sessions and $18 million in debt reduction.
“Brick Township is a model for the rest of the country as how both political parties, as well as independents, can work together to get things done,” Ducey said, while making appointments to various boards and commissions. “‘People Above Politics’ has worked well for the last four years, and that philosophy is definitely going to continue over the next four years.”