In the Oceanport mayoral race, “Write-In” has defeated incumbent Mayor Michael Mahon by a margin of 988 to 721.
Monmouth County Clerk told MoreMonmouthMusings this morning that each of the Write-In votes will be reviewed today in order to determine the winner of the race, subject to the counting of provisional ballots and certification of the election.
A bi-partisan coalition of Oceanport leaders supported Attorney Jay Coffey, a registered Democrat, in his campaign unseat the Republican mayor who was unopposed on the ballot. Coffey is widely expected to be the winner of the campaign. He declared victory last evening.
Oceanport’s all Republican municipal government has been in turmoil for the better part of the year as Mahon stopped communicating with members of the Council, particularly regarding redevelopment issues at Fort Monmouth, and a growing distrust of Borough Administrator John Bennett festered throughout the governing body and members of the public.
During the course of the last year, Councilman Joe Irace and Bennett had to be restrained from coming to blows at a Council Meeting. Two members of the six Council Members resigned this year and a third chose not to seek re-election.
Bennett, after negotiating a contract as Borough Administrator through 2017, abruptly announced his retirement when Coffey announced his Write-In campaign. Coffey’s supporters viewed the retirement announcement as a political strategy to keep Bennett’s controversial employment from being an issue in the campaign and expected that he would withdraw his retirement papers had Mahaon prevailed in the election,