CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE — Republicans took all three Cape May County seats up for grabs Tuesday as the Democrats did not even field candidates.
Newcomers Will Morey and Kristine Gabor won seats on the Board of Chosen Freeholders, while incumbent Sheriff Gary Schaffer won another term.
All terms are for three years. The win means the freeholder board will continue to be five Republicans. Unofficial vote totals Tuesday night gave Morey 15,893 votes, Gabor 15,243, and Schaffer 16,358.
Even without contests, it didn’t mean there wasn’t something to talk about as the Republican Party celebrated its victory Tuesday night here at the Bellevue Tavern. With incumbent Freeholder Director Daniel Beyel deciding not to run, it means the board reorganization meeting in January will include the selection of a new director. Morey and Gabor said they plan to support longtime Freeholder Gerald Thornton for the post.
“He has the experience of being there and has made significant contributions,” Gabor said.
Morey, Gabor, and Schaffer all have plans for their new terms.
Gabor, who said she will resign her seat on Upper Township Committee before taking office, said she will push for more transparency in county government. She also wants to be more of a resource for municipal government.
“We want more input from municipal leaders. We want to be a pipeline for them, a resource for them,” Gabor said.
Morey, who operates amusement parks in the Wildwoods, wants to “grow the economy.” He said the freeholders must go beyond seeking efficiency in government and actually try to increase revenue.
“I want to make Cape May County a better place to live, a place with more opportunity for its residents and a better place to visit,” Morey said.
Schaffer wants to keep working on projects such as the ongoing expansion of the Cape May County Correctional Center, winning state accreditation of the Sheriff’s Department later this year, installing a new data management system, and exploring a new jail management system. He said the innovative (first in the nation) Internet visitation program may be expanded so attorneys can use the Web to talk to incarcerated clients.
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