Mount Olive, where Gov. Phil Murphy announced funding for a Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative this morning, is one of the New Jersey towns that Joe Biden carried in 2020 but went heavily for Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli last week.
It could also emerge as a battleground town in the nationally-watched 7th district congressional race next year between Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes) and Republican Tom Kean, Jr., the minority leader of the New Jersey State Senate – if Mount Olive stays in the district.
Ciattarelli leads Murphy in Mount Olive by 14 percentage points, 57%-43%. Last year, Mount Olive supported Joe Biden over Donald Trump by a decisive margin. Biden carried the township by 722 votes, 51.5%-44.9%. U.S. Senator Cory Booker won Mount Olive by 668 votes.
Despite Biden’s win, Kean still carried Mount Olive, albeit by a narrow 148-vote margin, 50.5%-49.5%.
In 2018, Rep. Leonard Lance (R-Clinton Township) won Mount Olive by 7 votes against Malinowski.
Biden’s 2020 results represented a flip of a municipality Trump carried four years earlier; Trump outpolled Hillary Clinton by 921 votes, 52%-44%. Lance won Mount Olive 1,352 votes that year, 55%-43%.
Republicans outnumber Democrats in Mount Olive and have complete control of the local governing body.