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Rodrick, Running Mates Dominate in Toms River Elections

Dan Rodrick and Ben Giovine (Campaign Photos)

Dan Rodrick and Ben Giovine (Campaign Photos)

Toms River Mayoral Vote

63/63 Districts Reporting
Dan Rodrick (R)13,510
Ben Giovine (D)5,833

Toms River Council Vote

63/63 Districts Reporting
Thomas Nivison (R)13,220
Lynne O'Toole (R)13,281
Craig Coleman (R)13,089
Michele Williams (D)5,553
Rhetta Jackson-Fair (D)5,061
Ruby Franco (D)5,276

Toms River’s next mayor will be Daniel Rodrick, who was celebrating a resounding victory Tuesday night after unofficial results from the Ocean County Clerk’s Office showed the current councilman in a landslide 70-to-30 percent victory over rival Ben Giovine, a former Board of Education president.

After a hard-fought primary election in which Rodrick bested incumbent Mayor Maurice “Mo” Hill for the chance to represent his party in the mayoral race, Rodrick carried an anti-overdevelopment platform to victory. It was the second overwhelming victory for Rodrick, known as a firebrand councilman who continually took his fellow Republicans to task at public meetings for what he saw as a lack of transparency and overspending by the administration.

Rodrick also gained momentum for his opposition to a controversial pre-sale home inspection ordinance that was backed by the GOP establishment, ultimately leading to complaints from residents and real estate agents that resulted in additional manpower having to be added to the township employment rolls.

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Campaign mailers accused Giovine of wanting to continue what Rodrick saw as efforts to overdevelop the downtown corridor, though many in the business community strongly advocated in favor of adding more residential, commercial and mixed-use development with the hope of turning Toms River’s beleaguered town center into a trendy area similar to Red Bank. Rodrick, on the other hand, said he hoped to clean up the area around the Toms River and Huddy Park and maintain the area with a theme reminiscent of the township’s history as a fishing and boating hub.

Rodrick’s running mates also carried the night, ushering in a new majority on the township council. While the party affiliation of the governing body will remain 7-0 in favor of the Republicans, the majority will now be affiliated with a different faction of the GOP. While there have been no announcements, it is likely the faces of government will change. Rodrick has sparred with Township Attorney Gregory P. McGuckin, whose appointment he views as patronage. A contraction in the township’s public relations budget is also a near-guarantee, with the current public information officer having previously served as Hill’s campaign manager and Rodrick’s staunch opposition to a Democrat-led PR firm from Monmouth County that has a contract with the township.

Political observers will be watching closely Wednesday night as the township council meets almost immediately for the first time since the election – set for Wednesday night at 6 p.m. at the township municipal complex.

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