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Former Toms River Councilman Terrance Turnbach. (Photo: Terrance Turnbach).

Turnbach will challenge Earp for Ocean Democratic chair

Scutari, Coughlin endorse Earp for re-election

By David Wildstein, March 08 2022 2:21 pm

Former Toms River Councilman Terrance Turnbach will challenge incumbent Wyatt Earp for Ocean County Democratic chairman in June.

“We should not have to hide our identities as Ocean County Democrats in elections with the hopes of getting elected, but we must build a brand of public service and strong work ethic that drives our neighbors and fellow residents to vote for us,” said Turnbach, who lost re-election to his council seat last November.  “Our party was built upon a strong work ethic and a dedication to public service.  It’s time to get back to the basics.”

Ocean County is the top Republican county in the state, with Republican Jack Ciattarleli carrying it by 36 points and a 77,141-vote plurality over Gov. Phil Murphy last year.  Ciattarelli carried 32 of 33 municipalities, with Murphy winning Harvey Cedars by 3 votes.

Lacey Democratic Municipal Chair Tara Kownacki will run for vice chair on Turnbach’s ticket.   Earp is running with Emma Mammano, a former State Senate candidate from Brick.

Earp, the president of the Ocean and Monmouth AFL-CIO, has received endorsements from Senate President Nicholas Scutari and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin.  He’s been the county chairman for sixteen years.

Among Turnbach’s complaints: Republicans hold 202 of 212 local elected positions and  that Democrats fielded candidates in only half of the county’s 2021 municipal elections.

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