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Stephen Pakradooni, Jr., a Republican candidate for Gloucester County Commissioner in 2022. (Photo: Stephen Pakradooni).

Gloucester GOP announces ticket for control election

Pakradooni, Wingate will seek to flip majority on Gloucester Board of Commissioners for first time since 1986

By David Wildstein, March 04 2022 8:00 pm

Gloucester County GOP Chair Jacci Vigilante unveiled a slate of candidate on Friday as they seek to take control of the Board of Commissioners for the first time since 1986.

Stephen H. Pakradooni, Jr., who carried the Gloucester County portion of the 4th legislative district with 53% of the vote in his 2021 bid to unseat State Sen. Fred Madden (D-Washington Township), will run for county commissioner.

He’ll run with Harrison Township Committeeman Adam Wingate, a 31-year-old rising star who won local office in 2019.

They will face six-term County Commissioner Frank DiMarco and Denice DiCarlo, a former West Deptford mayor who lost a bid for county commissioner in 2021 but won a special election convention last month after Democrat Dan Christy resigned two years into his fourth three-year term.

Republicans need to win both seats to take a 4-3 majority on the Board of Commissioners.

Woolwich Republican Municipal Chairman Tom Narolewski will take on five-term County Clerk James Hogan.

Republicans ended an 11-year losing streak in Gloucester County in 2021 after Nick DeSilvio and Chris Konawel defeated eight-term incumbent Robert Damminger and DiCarlo, who was seeking the open seat of retiring Commissioner James Lavender.

The same election produced an upset victories by Republican Jonathan Sammons over five-term Sheriff Carmel Morina, State Sen. Edward Durr (R-Swedesboro) against Senate President Steve Sweeney, and Republican Assemblywomen Beth Sawyer (R-Woolwich) and Bethanne McCarthy Patrick (R-Mannington) . who defeated two Democratic assemblymen last year.

The 80-year-old Hogan this week said he would seek a sixth term.  He served two terms as sheriff as a Republican before winning a county clerk race in 1997.  Hogan switched parties in 2002.

Pakradooni, the owner of a South Jersey automotive repair business, beat Madden last November in Washington Township, the largest municipality in the county, by 1,413 votes, 54%-46%.  He won Monroe by 401, 52%-48%, and lost Pitman by 87, 51%-49%.  Madden, the Gloucester County Democratic Chairman, outspent Pakradooni 41-1.

Gloucester County delivered a 10-point, 9,837-vote plurality to Republican Jack Ciattarelli in his nearly successful bid to unseat Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy in 2021.   Murphy had carried Gloucester in 2017 by 9,901 votes, a 13-point win against then-Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno.

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