Home>Campaigns>Piperno, Eulner win Assembly seats in Monmouth in pickup for GOP

Republican Assembly candidates Kim Eulner, left and Marilyn Piperno. (Photo: Facebook).

Piperno, Eulner win Assembly seats in Monmouth in pickup for GOP

Downey trails by 394 votes with no possible path to victory

By David Wildstein, November 13 2021 10:16 pm

Republicans have flipped two State Assembly seats in the 11th district, where Marilyn Piperno and Kim Eulner have ousted three-term Democrats Joann Downey (D-Freehold) and Eric Houghtaling (D-Neptune).

Eulner, a Shrewsbury borough councilwoman, now leads Downey by 394 votes with just a few ballots still uncounted by the Monmouth County Board of Elections 11 days after Election Day.

Piperno is the top vote-getter with 35,219, followed by Eulner (35,062), Downey (34,668) and Houghtaling (34,393).

Democratic State Sen. Vin Gopal (D-Long Branch), who went to bed on election night down 490 votes, was re-elected to a second term against Republican Lori Annetta.  Gopal now leads by 2,619.

Downey had picked up 31 votes on Wednesday, cutting Eulner’s lead to 346.

The Board of Elections will take tomorrow off and continue counting votes on Monday.

The Monmouth County has a history of close Assembly contests.

In 1975, Republican Marie Muhler (R-Marlboro) unseated freshman Democrat Morton Salkind (D-Marlboro) by 271 votes.  Another Democrat, Walter Kozloski (D-Freehold) held his seat by 488 votes against Jerome U. Burke, who had been a GOP assemblyman from Essex County in the 1960s.

Kozloski won for a third time in 1977, edging out former Assemblyman John Dawes (R-Freehold) by just 213 votes. Kozlowski, dying of cancer, lost his seat in 1979 to Republican John O. Bennett III (R-Little Silver). He passed away 19 days later, but in those days the Monmouth County Board of Elections had finished counting their votes.

Redistricting in 1981 moved Bennett to the 12th.

In 2005, Democrat Michael Panter (D-Shrewsbury) held on to win a second term by a mere 65 votes against Republican Declan O’Scanlon, a Little Silver councilman, in a race where another Democratic incumbent was defeated.

Two years later, O’Scanlon defeated Panter by 651 votes.

In 2015, Houghtaling ran 496 votes ahead of Republican incumbent Mary Pat Angelini (R-Ocean), while Downey was 253 votes in front of Angelini and polled 488 votes more than incumbent Caroline Casagrande (R-Colts Neck).

Final 11th district results:

Gopal 51.9% // Annetta 48.1%

Piperno 25.1%, Eulner 24.9% // Downey 24.7%, Houghtaling 24.5% // Faison 0.8%

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