TOMS RIVER-Maurice “Mo” Hill secured the Republican nomination over his opponents on Tuesday and he had a little help from the township’s newest residents. Organized into a bloc vote behind Hill, now a sitting councilman on the township committee, Hill received an overwhelming majority of votes in districts with large Jewish Orthodox voter bases.
In District 52, along Whitesville Road, south of the Jackson-Lakewood border, which includes the Tallymawr development, Hill received an astonishing 72.4%. In other districts where neighborhoods have been turned by the influx of Orthodox Jewish residents, Hill outperformed his opponents with a combined margin of 3 to 1.
Hill narrowly won the majority of the township’s voting districts, but the strong showing by the Orthodox community gave him a commanding victory over his opponents.
Earlier in the week, Hill came under fire after it was learned how deep his outreach in the Orthodox community was when it was revealed that nearly 20% of the signatures on his campaign nominating petition filed in March came from the Orthodox community, including receiving prominent support from Synagogue developer Scott Gartner. Hill also received support from the Toms River Jewish Community Council (TRJCC) which is essentially the “Vaad” of Toms River. Vaad means “council” in Hebrew.
After Hill’s win, Heather Richards-Barone, an independent candidate for council lashed out at Hill and voters in Toms River.
“Thank you to all who actually voted,” Barone said. “Not a chance we had against the money Mo Hill had and team from the Orthodox vote and money. So you got what you voted for, goodbye Toms River!”
Now Hill will enter a fierce race against a Democrats who will no doubt focus on Hill’s alliance with the Orthodox community.
He will go into battle with residential home builder Matthew Lotano, Joseph Kopp and Kevin M. Geoghegan. Geoghegan lost his most recent election to Democrats in 2017.
Hill received over 70% of all votes in much the North Dover section of town. Joseph Coronato received 20% and Daniel Rodrick received 10% in those neighborhoods. Results were more balanced throughout the rest of Toms River. Coronato fared well in coastal communities and along the town’s southern border.