Republicans won key local races, replacing Democratic Mayors in Hamilton Township, Toms River and Brick.
Hamilton Mayor Glen Gilmore has lost his bid for re-election to a third term to Republican John Bencivengo by a 51%-49% margin.
Former Ocean County Prosecutor Thomas Kelaher was elected Mayor of Toms River, defeating Democrat Richard Strada by a 52%-37% margin. Carmine Inteso, a Republican Councilman running as an Independent, finished third. This is a Republican pickup; the incumbent, Democrat Paul Brush, did not seek re-election. The GOP also swept the Council races.
In Rutherford, Democratic Mayor Bernadette McPherson, a Bergen County Freeholder, was ousted in a landslide. She won just 31% of the vote against Republican John Hipp.
Republican Stephen Acropolis was elected Mayor of Brick, defeating incumbent Democrat Daniel Kelly by a 55%-45% margin. This is a GOP pickup. The race was for the unexpired term of Joseph Scarpelli, a Democrat who was convicted of corruption charges. Republicans won 4 Council seats.
In Marlboro, Democrat Jonathan Hornick ousted GOP Mayor Robert Kleinberg by a 60%-40% margin.
In Demarest, Carole Cardinale, the wife of State Senator Gerald Cardinale, lost her bid for re-election to the Borough Council, losing to Democrat Melina Ianuzzi by 130 votes. Incumbent William Connelly was re-elected.
In Bogota, where Republican Steven Lonegan did not seek re-election, Democrat Patrick McHale defeated Republican Andrew Fede by 48 vote, 885 to 837.
In Franklin Township, Republican Brian D. Levine was re-elected, defeating Democrat James Vassanella by 348 votes.
In Hillsborough, Democratic incumbent Paul Drake lost his bid for re-election to Republican Frank DelCore by 44 votes.
Berkeley Mayor Jarson Varano, a Democrat, was re-elected by a 56%-44% margin.
In a rerun of the May Hoboken Ward 4 Council race, Dawn Zimmer leads Christopher Campos by a 55%-45% margin, with 3 of 4 districts counted.
Former Assemblywoman Rose Marie Heck staged a political comeback, winning election to her old job as Mayor of Hasbrouck Heighs. She defeated Democrat Maryetta Saccomano by a 51%-31% in a three-way race.