Party switch gives Dems control of Gloucester County town

Republicans have lost majority control of the Franklin Township Committee. Deputy Mayor Peter Scapellato announced yesterday that he was switching parties, giving Democrats a 3-2 majority in the Gloucester County municipality of 15,466 people through 2007. It also means that longtime Mayor David Ferrucci will be ousted as Mayor when the local government reorganizes in January. Scapellato joins Gloucester County Clerk James Hogan, South Harrison Mayor James McCall, Washington Township Councilwoman Michelle Martin and Westville Councilman Michael Galbraith as GOP officeholders who have switched parties in recent years. Franklin Township is considered politically competitive — George Bush carried it by 60 votes in 2004 and Jon Corzine by 266 votes in 2005 — and is in the fourth legislative district, where Republicans think they have a chance to compete for a Senate seat and two Assembly seats.

Party switch gives Dems control of Gloucester County town