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Gov. Phil Murphy. (Photo: Edwin J. Torres/Governor’s Office)

Lakewood Vaad will endorse Murphy

Backing of key Orthodox Jewish leaders will put dent into Ciattarelli’s Ocean margin

By David Wildstein, October 15 2021 2:41 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy will be endorsed by the Lakewood Vaad on Tuesday, giving him the support of hugely influential religious leaders from the Orthodox Jewish community as he seeks to become the first Democratic governor since 1977 to win a second term.

Lakewood is a heavily Republican municipality in Ocean County, but with the support of the Vaad, Murphy was able to win the township by 114 votes over Republican Kim Guadagno in 2017.

Last year, Lakewood have Donald Trump 82% of the vote.  Rep. Christopher Smith (R-Hamilton) carried the township with 83%.   Eight years ago, Gov. Chris Christie won 82% in Lakewood.

The Orthodox community split in 2009 when The Vaad backed Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine for re-election, but many younger rabbinic students went for Christie and some publicly called on The Vaad to withdraw their endorsement.  Christie carried Lakewood, 55%-31%.

Murphy and his administration built a strong relationship with Rabbi Avi Schnall  and other Vaad leaders over the last four years.

Lakewood’s population shot up again in the last census, increasing 92,843 to 135,138.

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