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Victoria Groetsch-Lods. (Photo: Facebook.)

Republicans flip control of Cumberland County government

Testa finally beats South Jersey Democratic machine in his home county

By Joey Fox and David Wildstein, November 08 2022 11:46 pm

The New Jersey Globe projects that Republicans have won control of the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners, a result that shifts political power from the South Jersey Democratic machine to State Sen. Michael Testa, Jr. (R-Vineland), the GOP county chairman.

The re-election of Republican Douglas Albrecht and the defeat of Democrat Darlene Barber flips the county commission to 4-3 Republican. This locks the GOP into a majority for the next two years; Democrats won’t have a chance to regain control until 2024.

As of 11:46 p.m., Albrecht and Republican Victoria “Tori” Groetsch-Lods (both 28%) lead Barber and the other Democratic candidate, Priscilla Ocasio- Jiménez (both 22%).

Republicans have been out of power in Cumberland County since 2012, when a brief one-year reign ended.

The GOP candidates were boosted by Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis), who is leading in Cumberland County by more than 13 percentage points in his bid for a third term in Congress.  Van Drew’s coattail had helped Democrats win countywide races while he served in the state legislature.

Groetsch-Lods, a former chief of staff to State Sen. Nicholas Asselta (R-Vineland), is winning her first public office on her fourth try.  She lost freeholder races in 2017 and 2020 and county clerk in 2019.

Republicans positioned themselves for a control election in 2021 when they flipped two seats, reducing the Democratic majority from 6-1 to 4-3.

Albrecht, a tire dealer and a Vineland councilman from 2008 to 2012, was elected freeholder in 2019.

A former superintendent of the Cumberland County Technical Education Center, Barber was elected freeholder in 2013 and was re-elected in 2016 and 2019.

Ocasio- Jiménez, a school administrator, lost a bid for county commissioner last year.  Republicans Antonio Romero and Joseph Sileo defeated Ocasio- Jiménez and her running mate, three-term incumbent Joseph Derella, Jr.

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