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Battle Lines Set for Brick Mayor, Council Races Following Primary Election

John Catalano and Lisa Crate (Campaign Photos)

John Catalano and Lisa Crate (Campaign Photos)

The two major political parties ran slates of unopposed candidates in Tuesday’s primary election in Brick, setting in stone the names of those who will appear on the ballot in November to represent the township.

Tuesday was also the deadline for independent candidates to register to run in November’s election. None registered to run for any office in Brick.

Incumbent Mayor Lisa Crate, serving temporarily in the absence of former Mayor John Ducey, who was appointed a judge earlier this year, will represent the Democrats. Meanwhile, current state assemblyman and former council member John Catalano will lead the Republican ticket. Republicans have not held the mayor’s office nor a council majority in over a decade.

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This year’s election is, effectively, a potential tide-shifting contest in terms of Brick politics. Both the mayor’s office as well as four seats – a majority – on the council are up for grabs. The winner of the mayoral election will serve out the remainder of Ducey’s term before having to run again for a full term in office.

The Democrats’ council slate includes three incumbents. Two of those incumbents, however, Melissa Travers and Derrick Ambrosino, are holding appointed seats, respectively, following the resignation of Crate after her ascension to mayor, and the resignation of Art Halloran, who moved out of town. Vince Minichino is seeking a second term on council, and newcomer Steve Feinman is seeking his first term.

The Republican ticket, running with Catalano, includes Mary Buckley, Theresa Gallagher, James Palmisano and Rocco Palmieri.

Though it may not necessarily translate to predictions for November’s general election, especially given the GOP’s voter registration lead in Brick, the township’s Republican organization, via social media, touted the fact that it attracted more voters to Tuesday’s primary election as compared to their opponents. Indeed, according to as-yet-certified results from the Ocean County Clerk’s office, 2,299 residents voted in the GOP mayoral primary versus 1,525 in the Democratic primary. About the same margin was seen in the council primary turnout.

Countywide, just over 9 percent of the electorate turned out for the primary election.

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