STATEHOUSE: GOPAL, O’SCANLON SCORE WINS


 Vin Gopal and his 11th-district running mates staked out an island of Democratic blue in a sea of GOP red. (Map by NJSpotlight.com.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Middletown resident Phil Murphy was the clear winner in the 2017 New Jersey gubernatorial race Tuesday, in spite of a chilly reception from his home county.

Meanwhile, Republican state Senator Jen Beck of Red Bank lost her 11th-district statehouse seat to Democrat Vin Gopal, and first-term Red Bank Councilman Mike Whelan came up short in his bid for an Assembly seat on Beck’s ticket.

Former Little Silver Councilman Declan O’Scanlon, a Republican, held off a challenge to his 13th-district state Senate seat by Middletown Democrat Sean Byrnes, according to results posted by the Monmouth County Clerk.

Monmouth County went strongly for Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, a Monmouth Beach resident, in her failed bid to succeed Governor Chris Christie. (Map by NJSpotlight.com.)

• In a pivotal race, Gopal, a former Monmouth County Democratic chairman, outpolled Beck, 53.7 percent to 46.2 percent, or a margin of almost 3,600 votes out of nearly 48,000 cast.

• Gopal’s running mates, incumbents state Assembly members Joann Downey and Eric Houghtaling, defeated Beck’s ticketmates, Whelan and Robert Acerra.

• O’Scanlon, with 54.4 percent of votes cast, easily held off Byrnes, with 45.6 percent, the county clerk reported. O’Scanlon running mates Amy Handlin, an incumbent, and Serena DiMaso, a member of the county freeholder board, won clear victories in their Assembly races over Democrats Mariel DiDato and Tom Giaimo.

• Republican incumbent Freeholder Lillian Burry and Patrick Impreveduto outpolled Democrats Margie Donlon and Brian Wilton.

• Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno won nearly 55 percent of the Monmouth County vote for governor, compared to Murphy’s 43.2 percent. Statewide, however, Murphy was leading the Republican by about 13 percentage points with 91 percent of districts reporting at about 11 p.m., according to NJ.com, which declared him the winner earlier in the night.

• Monmouth voters were widely in favor of two state ballot questions regarding library funding and the use of proceeds from environmental litigation, and likewise approved a county question about increasing an open-spaces levy by a strong margin.

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