The ghost of Michael Ritacco

The voters of Toms River last night repudiated the Ritacco era in an election that saw a 15% increase in voter turnout.

A fusion team comprised of top-vote getter Ben Giovine (D), Loreen Torrone (U) and Alex Pavliv (R) swept into office after promising transparency in light of the recent indictment of school board-backed Superintendent Michael Ritacco.

Their allies interpreted the results as electorate outrage over Ritacco’s criminal embezzlement charges in Toms River and a bucking of candidates supported by Ocean County GOP Chairman George Gilmore.

Giovine was the former Ocean County director of Rep. John Adler and is a lifelong resident of Toms River. Torrone is a former TR BOE member who was pushed off the board after casting the lone vote against Ritacco’s $347,000 contract. Pavliv is a taxpayer advocate who exposed a $150,000 payout to a Ritacco crony for a no-show insurance job.

Member of the Board of Ed. Toms River (Toms River) 
Votes Processed – Polling Place/Percent : 60/60 100.00%
Vote Count Percent 
– Karen M. Kenny 3,709 13.71%
– Brian J. Geoghegan 2,041 7.55% 
Alexander Pavliv 3,840 14.20% 
– Frank E. Rodgers 3,686 13.63% 
– Mary Ann Bageac 3,432 12.69% 
Loreen Torrone 4,727 17.48% 
– Stephen J. Galgon 556 2.06% 
Ben Giovine 4,983 18.42% 
   The ghost of Michael Ritacco