Jackson Republicans Narrowly Survive in Failed Takeover Attempt of Party Leadership by Religious Voting Bloc

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JACKSON TOWNSHIP, NJ – A coup of the Jackson Township Republican Club led by Mayor Michael Reina, former Jackson School Board member Tzvi Herman, and Rabbi Mordechai Burnstein, who also serves on the township planning board, appointed by Reina has officially failed.

On Monday, members of the Jackson Republican Club successfully repelled the attempted leadership coup in a club leadership election that ended with a difference of three votes.

In June, Burnstein and Reina orchestrated a successful election victory that saw 17 township districts fall to the “Republicans for Jackson” coalition, an effort by Orthodox Jewish residents to win seats on the Jackson Township Republican Municipal Committee. Despite the overwhelming gain in seats on the committee, the Reina-aligned Orthodox Jewish voting bloc not have enough votes to unseat longtime GOP Chairwoman Clara Glory or GOP Club President Todd Porter.

Porter and Glory were targeted by the voting bloc after the pair were censured by the RNC for making comments against Jewish residents.

Porter claimed he wanted to blast satanic music in Jackson parks to scare out young Jewish families and Glory was in the hot seat for liking a Facebook post where another person called Orthodox Jews “crooks”.

Since that 2019 debacle, Orthodox Jewish community leaders in Jackson and Lakewood have called for the resignation of both Porter and Glory. After the pair refused to resign, in 2022, the community organized an election victory in hopes they could remove the two Republican leaders by taking over the Jackson Republican Club and Municipal Committee.

In the end, they didn’t have enough votes to oust Porter or Glory, falling short by just three votes.

The loss is another black eye for Mayor Michael Reina who was hoping his new coalition with the Jewish voting bloc would sail him to victory in November, but it now appears as if the voting bloc in Jackson is more vulnerable than previously thought.

Last week, the club, at the request of party leadership postponed a mayoral screening event until after the leadership election, in hopes that the Reina-aligned faction would be victorious.

Now, Reina is sitting on the losing end of an election, that put two individuals back in power that he unseated during the June primary election.

This week, after making amends with the Orthodox Jewish community, it has been advertised that Reina will be officially reappointed to his six-figure position at the Ocean County Bridge Department. Reina has not been reappointed to that position in over two years, but still maintains the job. Jewish leaders had previously threatened election consequences if Reina was reappointed. Now that Reina has made amends with the community and settled the Department of Justice lawsuit, the county commissioners are expected to officially reappoint him at their next meeting.

Jackson voters will now have to choose whether or not to re-elect Reina this coming November.