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Wildwood Crest Commissioner Joyce Gould

Cape May Democrats pick Gould as freeholder candidate

Longtime Wildwood Crest commissioner makes late entrance into race, like Van Drew did 18 years ago

By David Wildstein, August 08 2019 9:31 pm

Cape May County Democrats have picked Joyce Gould, a seven-term Wildwood Crest Commissioner, as their candidate for Freeholder.

Gould replaces Steve Barry, who dropped out of the race for health reasons.  She will run with Elizabeth Casey, an Ocean City attorney and former Assistant Counsel to the New Jersey Casino Control Commission.

Casey and Gould will face incumbents Republicans Gerald Thornton and Marie Hayes, who have faced a series of issues this summer that could make the freeholder race competitive for the first time since Jeff Van Drew left county government to join the State Assembly eighteen years ago.

The all-Republican freeholder board voted to censure Hayes last month  related to a retaliation claim made by Board clerk Beth Bozzelli The details of the issue have not been made public.

Hayes attacked Thornton, her running mate, alleging that he lobbied her to vote in favor of a raise for his step-son, county counsel Jeff Lindsay.

An appellate court reinstated a lawsuit last month alleging that Thornton retaliated against Kim Allen, a two-term purchasing agent for the county who was not reappointed after she raised concerns over the county hiring a law firm without issuing a request for proposals as required by law.

“As we see the Freeholder Board imploding with running mates Jerry Thornton and Marie Hayes dramatically exposing their abuses, we cannot delay our message of cleaning up county government,” said Cape May Democratic County Chairman Brendan Sciara.  “And I’m delighted that Joyce Gould is willing to join Liz Casey in turning government around and stopping improper activities of our elected county officials”.

Gould has been on the borough commission since 1989 and served as mayor from 1989 to 1993.

“An independent voice would prevent such troubling misbehavior by prohibiting nepotism of county officials, treating employees fairly and having a hiring practice fair and open to residents,” Gould said. “With Liz Casey, I look forward to having our voices loudly heard on the Freeholder Board.”

Van Drew, then the Mayor of Dennis, won a seat on the Cape May County Board of Freeholders in 1994, defeating Republican incumbent Gary Jessel by 2,648 votes, a 54%-46% margin.  He gave up his seat in 1997 to run for Assembly but lost to incumbent Nicholas Asselta (R-Vineland) by 1,811 votes after holding Asselta to an 824-vote win in the Cape May portion of the district.

In 2000, Van Drew reclaimed his freeholder seat when he ousted his successor, incumbent Mark Videtto, by 11,513 votes, a 63%-37% margin.

After Democrats began to sense the tide trending their way during the summer of 2001, they pulled Robert Balicki from the 1st district Assembly race and replaced him with Van Drew.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bret Schundler carried Cape May by just 353 votes that year against James McGreevey, 17,471 to 18,118.  Van Drew unseated Republican Assemblyman John Gibson (R-Sea Isle City) by 1,204 votes.   He beat Gibson by 1,309 votes in Cape May, while Gibson carried Cumberland by 92 and Atlantic by 14.

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4 thoughts on “Cape May Democrats pick Gould as freeholder candidate

  1. It’s time to drain the Cape May County nepotism swamp! The abuse of taxpayer money to hire then over pay relatives and political friends to improperly run our county government must end. Joyce Gould has an impeccable record of good governance and Liz Casey is a well respected professional lawyer with no political baggage. Like I said before, two great candidates that will clean house.

    1. Funny you should talk about nepotism Rich. Do you really want to go there? Also the Democratic party in Cape May County is currently being run by the corrupt Republicans that were kicked out in 2010. Funny that you should be on that side now.

  2. Cape May County Government is an incestual patronage pit. Step sons, sons, daughters, wives, husbands, in laws all eating from the trough. County employees doing municipal business on county time. They celebrate opening a bridge 2 months late that was closed for a year and will probably have to close again 2 months from now. Then again we are below the mason Dixon line.

  3. I met Joyce about a year and a half as she married my husband and I. I found her to be a remarkable, honest person who truly cares about people.

    If we lived in Wildwood, she would have our vote.

    Joyce truly cares about Wildwood!

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