Amy Mallet beat former Red Bank Councilman John Curley by 328 votes to give Democrats their first Monmouth County Freeholder majority since 1985, the Asbury Park Press reports today.
The results won’t be official until Thursday, when the county Board of Canvassers memorializes the tallies and certifies other statistics from the Nov. 4 election, according to the newspaper.
From the Press:
County Democratic organization spokesman Mike Mangan said, “Voters have spoken and want Democrats in control,” and he cautioned the lame-duck Republican majority in the final six weeks of its control against enabling their administration appointees to “burrow in,” the term for moving into permanent government jobs.
Most of the county government’s approximately 3,500 jobs have civil service protections, but the controlling party has direct hiring authority over department heads, positions that typically carry annual salaries in the $100,000 range.
“It’s important that the Republicans don’t try to extend professional contracts, institute tenure for some employees or hand out salary increases in the coming weeks before the transition is complete,” Mangan said. “I think all of those things would undermine what voters want.”
Mallet will take office in January, replacing Republican William C. Barham, who did not seek re-election. John D’Amico Jr. and Barbara J. McMorrow are the other board Democrats. The remaining Republicans are Lillian G. Burry and Robert D. Clifton.
In the Nov. 4 election, two three-year board terms were at stake. Burry won re-election as top vote-getter. Democrat Glenn Mason finished behind Burry, Mallet and Curley.
With Mallet and Curley in a photo finish for the second seat Election Day, officials pored over thousands of paper provisional ballots. They finished tallying the valid ballots on Tuesday in county offices on Halls Mill Road.
County Republican organization spokesman Mark Duffy said the party and Curley had not immediately decided whether to challenge any aspects of the election or seek a recount.
“We’re going to take some time to digest these numbers and confer with our attorneys before making our decision,” Duffy said.