Ocean County Freeholder Joe Vicari has declared victory in what was a tough-fought race by his opponent, Democrat Tim Ryan, whose unconfirmed allegations of an FBI investigation into county government ultimately backfired as a campaign strategy.
Vicari, who has served on the board since 1981, won by about 18,000 votes,. The decisive, 54-40 percent victory by Vicari was no surprise – a Democrat has not won a seat on the board since 1989 – but signified the strength of the county Republican organization’s political apparatus given the hard push by Ryan on ethics issues in county government.
Vicari won 72,527 votes over Ryan’s 54,113. Third party candidates, Tracy Caprioni and Brian Pizza won 2,386 votes and 3,999 votes, respectively.
“I believe Tim Ryan owes the people of Ocean County an apology,” Vicari told Republicans gathered at the TR Hotel in Toms River, according to PolitickerNJ. “This is not North Korea. We’re not communists.”