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Mayor-Backed Candidate Wins T.R. GOP Primary; Island Candidates Unopposed

William Byrne (Campaign Photo)

William Byrne (Campaign Photo)

While a bitter rivalry between two warring factions of the Republican party in Toms River was settled – for now – with a resounding victory by a candidate backed by Mayor Dan Rodrick, island races were customarily quiet, with incumbents running unopposed in most communities.

In Toms River, the dueling GOP sects were represented by William Byrne, 82, backed by Rodrick, and former councilman and retired township police sergeant Kevin Geoghegan, 58, backed by Republicans for Toms River, a rival GOP organization. Byrne will go on to carry the Republican banner in November’s general election, seeking to fill the open seat representing Ward 2, which includes Silverton, Green Island and Holiday City at Silverton, where Byrne has served in community governance.

Ultimately, Byrne’s resounding victory – 1,409 votes (60.27 percent) to Geoghegan’s 923 votes (39.48 percent) – is as much as victory for Rodrick as the candidate himself. After Rodrick favored two controversial policy decisions – one to decline to replace two retiring police captains in favor of hiring eight EMTs, and the other to turn over operations of the municipal animal shelter to the county – the primary vote was seen as the first test of public support for the township’s new mayor.

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A full story on the Toms River race has been published on Toms River Shorebeat.

On the island, incumbents carried the day, cruising to victory.

In Lavallette, council members Joanne Filippone and James Borowski, both running unopposed, will represent the Republican party in November’s general election. No Democrats filed to run in this year’s election.

In Seaside Heights, council members Victoria “Penny” Graichen and Harry Smith ran unopposed as well, and will appear on November’s ballot. No Democratic challengers filed to run in that town, either.

Seaside Park will see a contested race in November. Republicans nominated incumbents Marty Wilk and William Kraft, who ran unopposed, and Democrats nominated Michael Spadafino and Thomas Joseph, who also ran unopposed, to carry their party’s banner in the general election.

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