Assemblywoman Carol Murphy (D-Mount Laurel) doesn’t think Republicans have lost Burlington County forever.
“I think it goes in cycles. I’m not going to say they’re done,” Murphy said. “They’ve gone through the same thing Democrats went through many years ago. Times are changing. People are starting to realize that the way it’s been done, especially in Burlington County, hasn’t really been working.”
Democrats have taken almost complete control of Burlington’s countywide posts.
Republicans lost their last seat on the county’s freeholder board this year after Westampton Deputy Mayor Linda Hynes defeated Freeholder Latham Tiver.
They also lost the sheriff’s office this year, and Democrats won the county’s clerkship in 2018.
Now, Republicans hold just a single countywide post.
County Surrogate Mary Ann O’Brien’s seat won’t come up for a vote until 2021.
Murphy credited their victories in part to President Donald Trump, whose actions on the national level have animated Democratic voters in Burlington, a county where Democrats have lost races despite a huge advantage in party registration.
This year, Democrats’ registration advantage there had risen to 40,829. In 2017, when Republicans held all five of the county’s freeholder seats and every constitutional officer in Burlington belong to the GOP, Democrats still had a 36,450-voter edge.
The assemblywoman said she doesn’t expect Democratic voters’ enthusiasm to ebb after Trump leaves office.
“I think in the county once Trump’s out, no,” she said. “I think because they’re going to show — it’s not so much Democrats controlling, but the people who are elected who happen to be Democrats — how well they’re doing.”
Put another way, she expects good work to be rewarded, and she expects the county’s Democratic government to do good work.
“We still have to show the voters that we are doing our job,” Murphy said. “I think for the most part, that’s where the money’s going to be: ‘Are you doing your job?’”