The best municipal chairman race in the state was in Toms River on Monday night, where a popular councilman faced a challenge in an election held in his own home.
With the Democratic municipal chair not seeking re-election, Rodrick, as the vice chair, called the reorganization meeting for 5PM at his house. Sources say that he tried to force an open vote, but just eight committee members supported his proposal.
Rodrick faced a challenge from former two-term school board member Ben Giovine. Despite the literal home court advantage, Giovine beat Rodrick by a vote of 25 to 20.
In 2017, Rodrick was one of three Democrats to win a seat on the Toms River Township Council, when the all-GOP council was reduced to a 4-3 majority.
Eyeing a run for mayor next year, Rodrick has moved away from his Democratic base and adopted a more centrist agenda during his first six months as a councilman, according to one local Democrat. His vote in support of a Republican-sponsored resolution condemning Gov. Phil Murphy’s budget has drawn the ire of his some of his Democratic supporters.