Toms River Democrats, blue wave seeking to take over Republican stronghold of Toms River on Tuesday

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New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy visits Toms River, August 2, 2021. L-R Councilman Kevin Geoghegan, Councilman Terrance Turnbach, Governor Phil Murphy, Mayor Maurice "Mo" Hill. Field of Dreams event. Photo by Toms River Township, public domain.

TOMS RIVER, NJ – The Toms River Democrats are hoping that on Tuesday, the party of Joe Biden and Phil Murphy can take control of the Toms River Township Council. A win of four seats would continue the blue wave sweep from the north into Ocean County. Currently, Brick Township is the only municipality run by Democrats in the county.

Things have gotten dirty in the past week as Democrats plastered the township with attack mailers against their opponents in an effort to sway the predominantly Republican town blue, and along with it, to enact social policies local that are in line with the agenda of President Joe Biden and Governor Phil Murphy.

The Toms River Murphy-Biden Democrat ticket is led by criminal defense attorney Terrance Turnbach, who is calling for social reforms in Toms River and back the construction of a major regional homeless shelter in the town if he and his fellow Democrats can win.

“Our political opponents sent out another political mailer indicating that you should not vote for me because I want to help the areas homeless. Part of their statement is true, I do have a passion for helping people in need in our community,” Turnbach said.

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Turnbach, a criminal defense attorney has been under fire by his opponent David Ciccozzi over his defense of criminals such child pornographers, pedophiles and rapists, according to mailers sent by the Ciccozzi campaign. Earlier this month, Turnbach criticized Ciccozzi after saying the two men had a gentlemen’s agreement to not attack each other during the election. A sad and disappointed Turnbach said he is confident the voters of Toms River will back him and the blue Democrat line come Tuesday, despite those attacks.

“It’s truly unfortunate that my opponent and his handlers have seen fit to attack me in a most distasteful manner after we mutually pledged, at a public meeting, to stay clean and discuss only the issues confronting Toms River residents,” Turnbach said.

Turnbach is hoping to land the Orthodox Jewish bloc vote on Tuesday to give him the edge just hours before the election, releasing a video pleading with residents to stop “listening to the lies” being told about that community and anti-semites who are “selling fear” in Toms River.

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Turnbach was the leading voice on the Toms River Council as the township sought to reduce religious zoning acreage in the township from 10 acres down to 2 earlier this year.

“The difference is that I, along with other Toms River officials at a multitude of levels, have maintained open lines of communication with the the orthodox Jewish community, in our case more specifically with the Toms River Jewish Community Council,” Turnbach said.

Turnbach is running with fellow Democrats Michelle Williams, Kevin Horn and Karin Sage.


Phil Stilton contributed to this report.