Republican Todd Tersigni was elected Mayor of Phillipsburg on Tuesday, defeating incumbent Stephen Ellis by a sizeable 55%-41% margin.
Tersigni’s running mates, former mayor Harry Wyant and Randy Piazza, Jr., won council seats, defeating Democrats James Stettner and incumbent Lee Clark. The GOP will now have a 5-0 majority on the town council.
The pickup of Phillipsburg by the Republicans is a significant triumph for Warren County GOP Chairman Doug Steinhardt, who is also the Republican State Chairman.
Last month, Steinhardt helped flip Democratic councilman Mark Lutz to the Republicans. A local school board member soon followed.
Tersigni is a former two-term Democratic councilman who ran as an independent mayoral candidate in 2011,
Ellis defeated Wyant in 2015.
In heavily Republican Warren County, Phillipsburg is a swing town.
In 2018, Phillipsburg gave Democrat Tom Malinowski a 273-vote margin in his bid to unseat Rep. Leonard Lance (R-Clinton Township), but Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bob Hugin won the town by 14 votes.
Donald Trump carried it by 275 votes in 2016 and Phil Murphy won it by 68 votes in 2017.
Warren County Sheriff James McDonald, Sr. was re-elected 66% of the vote over Democrat Scott McDonald.
Freeholder Jason Sarnoski defeated Democrat Carol Cook with 63%.