CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE — Longtime Cape May County Freeholder Leonard Desiderio won another tem in office Tuesday defeating a challenge from Democrat Walter Deegan.
According to unofficial results from the Cape May County Clerk’s Office, Desiderio received 20,795 votes while Deegan received 11,167, with 116 of 127 districts reporting.
Desiderio was first elected to the Board of Freeholders in 2002 to fill an unexpired term and then went on to win re-election in 2003, 2006 and 2009.
“I’m just so excited about this victory,” Desiderio said after the votes were counted Tuesday night.
Desiderio also credited Deegan with running a very good, clean and issue-oriented campaign.
According to Deegan’s campaign web site, Deegan had never run for office before this year.
“I have no aspirations of seeking a higher office. I am a citizen who wants to use my extensive corporate business experience to bring quality year-round living-wage jobs to the families of Cape May County,” Deegan wrote.
Desiderio, who has also served as the mayor of Sea Isle City since 1993, said his dual role has been a help as he works with municipalities in the county.
“I’m sitting on the freeholder board knowing what municipalities are going through first-hand,” Desiderio said.
Deegan touted his experience as a businessman and manager among the valuable traits he would have brought to the job.
“Throughout my career I have been an accomplished leader whose employees always overachieve because of my mentoring management style. I lead by example, teaching and supportive motivation,” he wrote on his web site.
Desiderio, who moved to the county full-time in 1983, runs a motel, bar and nightclub and package-goods store in Sea Isle.
“I’m very thankful. I want to thank the voters of Cape May County,” he said.
Desiderio, 55, said his focus has been on working for seniors, veterans and families, providing services they need while maintaining a low tax rate.
“It’s also just being visible and able to respond to any problems,” he said.
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