With all the votes finally counted the election for control of the Neptune City Council favors the Democrats by a very thin margin. The Republicans are calling for a recount.
Republican Robert Burr trails incumbent Democrat Glen Kocis by 15 votes, 1319-1304 for a full three year term on the governing body. Democrat John Pietrunti leads incumbent Republican Brian Sullivan by 9 votes, 1315-1306 in the contest for a 1 year unexpired term. Sullivan was appointed to fill the vacancy created by Andrew Wardell’s election as Mayor last year.
Incumbent Democrat Pamela Renee’s reelection to a full term appears to be secure. Renee leads challenger Michaela O’Brien 1349-1262.
The top two vote getters for the full terms will take office in January. The winner of the unexpired term takes office upon certification of the election.
O’Brien, then an 18 year old college student at Brookdale, forced a Special Election in 2016 when she went to court to have her provisional ballot in the 2015 election counted after it had been rejected by the Board of Elections because they couldn’t verify her social security number.
“One of the most sacred privileges we have is our right to vote. We are extremely thankful for the support received throughout this entire election and could not be more honored to have been given the opportunity to serve the community we cherish. We hope that this process offers clarity in the final outcome so that we can move forward together and work towards a great future for Neptune City as well as all of our residents,” the Republican candidates said in a joint statement announcing their intended recount.
Partisan control of the borough’s municipal government is at stake. The council is currently divided 3-3 with Republican Mayor Wardell breaking a tie. Republicans need to retain one of the three contested seats to maintain their majority.