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Allison Eckel. (Photo: Allison Eckel).

Burlington Democrats hold two county offices

Eckel wins re-election as commissioner, Kostoplis wins first term as sheriff

By Joey Fox and David Wildstein, November 09 2022 12:33 am

The New Jersey Globe projects that Republicans in Burlington County have fallen short of regaining a foothold in county government, with Democrats winning races for sheriff and county commissioner.

James Kostoplis will become the new sheriff, leading Republican Mike Ditzel 56%-44% as of 12:33 a.m., while Commissioner Allison Eckel leads Republican former Mooretown school board member Jeff Fortune by the same 56%-44% margin.

This was Kostpolis’ third try for sheriff; he lost races to Republican Jean Stanfield in 2013 and 2016.

Burlington Republicans once ran one of the strongest political machines in the state, defying changing demographics in the county until 2017, when even an effective organization could no longer combat an electorate that was becoming increasingly Democratic.  Within four years, the all-Republican county government flipped to all-Democratic.

Kostoplis, the undersheriff, will succeed Democrat Anthony Basantis; Basantis won a race to succeed Jean Stanfield, now a state senator, in 2019, but decided not to seek a second term.

Eckel, a former member of the Lenape Regional High School Board of Education and Democratic Assembly candidate, was appointed county commissioner after Linda Hynes resigned to become a Superior Court judge.

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