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Crate, Democrats Sweep Brick Municipal Elections; Retain Control of Government

Lisa Crate and John Catalano (Campaign Photos)

Lisa Crate and John Catalano (Campaign Photos)

Election Results:

Brick Mayoral Vote (Unofficial)

57/57 Districts Reporting
Lisa Crate (D)11,054
John Catalano (R)7,701

Brick Township Council (Unofficial)

57/57 Districts Reporter
Vincent Minicino (D)9,412
Derrick Ambrosino (D)9,384
Steve Feinman (D)9,103
Melissa Travers (D)9,460
Mary Buckley (R)8,651
Theresa Gallagher (R)8,892
James Palmisano (R)8,698
Rocco Palmieri (R)8,628

Democrats will retain control of Brick Township government following a resounding victory that marked the end of a bitterly-fought campaign.

Republicans, last year, picked up their first seat in municipal government in more than a decade with the election of Perry Albanese to the council. Tuesday night, the man he defeated last year, Derrick Ambrosino, gained his own seat on council. With the unexpected exit of popular Democratic Mayor John Ducsey upon his appointment as a Superior Court judge earlier this year, a mayoral race materialized at the same time enough open council seats put the entirety of Brick Township’s municipal government up for grabs. Assemblyman John Catalano quickly emerged as a challenger to Councilwoman Lisa Crate, who was selected by her party to fill Ducey’s chair and run for the remainder of his term.

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The campaign was visceral and personal – including “fake newspapers” being mailed out to residents on behalf of the Democratic campaign, attempts by Republicans to link Crate to controversial policies on crime and parental rights supported by many in her party (forcing Crate to take a position counter to the powerful NJEA union, where she serves in a leadership position), and similar attempts to link Catalano to a tax increase approved by voters in a 2011 referendum which occurred months before he was appointed to temporarily fill a seat on the council the same year.

In the end, however, Ducey’s popularity doubtlessly carried over in the form of support to his former party colleagues, with the GOP campaign largely failing to connect Democrat-linked state and national policies deemed unpopular in conservative-leaning Brick Township to local government.

Crate’s win was resounding, collecting 58 percent of the vote compared to Catalano’s 41 percent.

Council races were closer, however both incumbents and newcomers on the Democratic side bested their GOP rivals. No Republicans emerged victorious from Tuesday’s races. The top vote-getter among council candidates was Melissa Travers, who won her first race after being appointed to the council earlier this year to fill Crate’s unexpired term following her elevation to the mayor’s office.



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