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Salem GOP picks Laury, Ostrum for freeholder race

Republicans look to beat party-switcher DeCastro

By David Wildstein, March 12 2018 12:31 am

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.

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