Salem County Republicans will make another run for control of the Board of Freeholders this year with incumbent Ben Laury and Mickey Ostrum, a Woodstown obstetrician, as their candidates.
Republican Bob Vanderslice lost his re-election bid by seven points in 2017, leaving the GOP with a narrow 3-2 control of county government. But five days before Christmas, Freeholder Melissa DeCastro said she was switching parties – flipping control to the Democrats.
Now Ostrum will try to take out DeCastro, who is expected to seek re-election as a Democrat.
Popular Sheriff Chuck Miller will seek re-election to a fifth term. Democrats have not run anyone against Miller since 2006, when he beat retired State Police captain Bill Higgins by a 52%-48% margin.
Ostrum has practiced obstetrics and gynecology in New Jersey and Delaware since 1980. He is the deputy chair of OB/GYN at Christiana Hospital in Wilmington.
Laury, a former Elmer school board member, is completing his third term on the freeholder board. He was the top vote-getter in the last election, finishing 853 votes ahead of DeCastro, his then-running mate, and 953 votes ahead of Democrat Charles Hassler. Hassler unseated Vanderslice last year.