Republicans won a key seat in Middle Township and two in Dennis Township on Tuesday that will give them voting majorities in two municipalities traditionally controlled by Democrats.
“We benefitted from the resurgence of the Republican brand, but don’t discount how hard people worked knocking on thousands of doors and making thousands of phone calls,” Cape May County Republican Party Chairman Mike Donohue said while celebrating at the Bellevue Tavern in Cape May Court House.
Timothy Donohue, the chairman’s brother, won a seat in Middle Township with 1,953 votes over Democrat William E. Sturm, III, who tallied 1,596. Independent Steven Russell received 796 votes.
All vote totals are unofficial as of Tuesday night and do not include provisional ballots not yet counted.
When Donohue takes office in January he will join incumbent Republican Dan Lockwood, giving the Republicans a 2-1 majority for the first time in decades.
Tim Donohue said the last time Republicans had a majority was in 1929. The last Republican mayor was Michael Voll, but he was elected as a Democrat and switched to Republican while in office in 1997. Donohue said Dan Lockwood would be the new mayor, replacing Democrat Susan DeLanzo.
“We had a clear message from the beginning: Hold the line on taxes and bring fair government across the board. People are tired of the state of government,” Donohue said.
He said it would be a huge change for a township that has been Democrat for so long.
“I didn’t run to fire anybody. I didn’t run to hire anybody. I ran to bring fair representation to the taxpayers of Middle Township,” Donohue said.
In Dennis Township, incumbent Democrats Dennis Crippen and Brian O’Connor were defeated by Republicans Frank Germanio Jr. and Brian Teefy. The unofficial vote totals were: Germanio, 1,011; Teefy, 962; O’Connor, 882; and Crippen, 855.
When they take office in January they will join with incumbent Republican Eugene Glembocki to give the GOP a 3-2 majority on the Township Committee. Glembocki likely will be the new mayor.
“Our message was responsive government, high quality services, and maintaining low taxes,” said Germanio, a Belleplain resident.
Teefy, of Ocean View, said they ran a positive campaign.
“We weren’t about the bad. We were about what’s best for Dennis Township,” Teefy said.
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