The four Democrats running for seats on the Brick Township Council swept their GOP opponents, riding a wave of voter anger over tax hikes into office in a victory that swings the control of the township's governing body away from Republicans.
"We clean sweep'd 'em," said Councilman-Elect Robert Moore, who said taxes were the number one issue in this year's campaign.
"I want to bring Brick back to how it used to be," he said at a victory party with the Ocean County Democratic organization at the Tuscan House restaurant in Toms River Tuesday night.
Despite being out-fundraised and out-spent during the campaign – and the targets of harsh GOP mailers toward the end of the race – the Democrats handily defeated their opponents by a wide margin.
Attorney John Ducey received the most votes of any candidate with 9,172, according to data from the Ocean County Clerk's Office. The final vote tally is:
DUCEY 9,172 √
LYDECKER 8,570 √
FOZMAN 8,810 √
MOORE 8,921 √
Ducey said it came down to the issues, specifically taxes, and voters responded to the Democrats' message of cutting waste and cronyism.
"Luckily, the people of Brick decided that we had the ideas they wanted," Ducey said. "They voted for us and had confidence in us."
Ducey said the first goal when his team takes office in January will be to "look at the finances and the spending, and see where all of the waste and mismanagement has been going on, so we can save the taxpayers money."
"We plan on working with the mayor and seeing what, exactly, needs to be done in town," said Ducey.
Council President Brian DeLuca, who lost his bid for re-election Tuesday, said he wished the new team "the best of luck."
"The people wanted a change, and they voted that way," DeLuca said.
"I wish them the best of luck," he said of the Democrats. "In the end, what I want is what's best for Brick."
With their victory, the Democrats will claim a majority on the township council when they take their seats in January. The council will be split between the ticket elected Tuesday and three Republicans – Dan Toth, Joseph Sangiovanni and Domenick Brando. Stephen C. Acropolis, a Republican, will remain mayor and face re-election in 2013.