Home>Local>Atlantic>GOP gains county posts in Atlantic, Gloucester

Bridgewater Councilman Michael Kirsh, right, with Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli in 2017. (Photo: Michael Kirsh.)

GOP gains county posts in Atlantic, Gloucester

By David Wildstein, November 03 2021 5:57 am

Republicans had a good night on Tuesday in their pursuit of countywide offices, with likely pickups of county commissioner seats in Atlantic, Gloucester and Somerset counties.

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The GOP also appears to have flipped the County Clerk’s office in Atlantic and the Sheriff’s office in Gloucester.

In Passaic County, Republicans are leading in the race for three seats on the Board of Commissioners and for Surrogate.

But efforts to break the all-Democratic county government in Bergen were unsuccessful, and Democrats won a Surrogate race in Burlington.

In the race for Atlantic County, Republican Hammonton Councilman Joe Giralo is leading Democratic Egg Harbor City Mayor Lisa Jiampetti by a huge 62-38% margin.   The incumbent, Democrat Edward McGettigan, is not seeking re-election.

Trailing by a similar amount is Democratic at-large commissioner candidate Celeste Fernandez, who’s losing to incumbent Commissioner Frank Balles.

And the 3rd district, which is hosting a do-over of a highly contentious contest last year that saw the entire election get thrown out, currently finds Republican Andrew Parker beating Democrat Thelma Witherspoon 64-36%.

Nick DeSilvio and Chris Konawel, the two GOP candidates for county commissioner in Gloucester County, have defeated Democratic incumbent Commissioner Robert Damminger and his running mate, West Deptford Mayor Denise DiCarlo. As a result, the Board of Commissioners’ Democratic majority will drop from 7-0 to 5-2.

Republican Jonathan Sammons leads in his bid to unseat Democratic Sheriff Carmel Morina.

Somerset County Commissioners Shanel Robinson and Sara Sooy, both Democrats, currently trail their Republican opponents, Bridgewater Councilman Michael Kirsh and Watchung school board member Amber Murad.


If Murad wins, she’ll become the first Republican Muslim to hold countywide office in the nation.

Democrats have been ascendant in the county in recent years, winning a 5-0 majority on the county commission in 2020, but this year could provide a significant setback. Both Robinson and Sooy originally arrived in office by defeating Republican incumbents.

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