Turnbach Too Progressive, Radical Even for Ocean County Dems, Loses Chairman’s Election

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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 – Toms River criminal defense attorney Terrance Turbach was soundly rejected by members of his own Democrat party in Wednesday night’s Ocean County Democrat Chairman’s election.

Democrat voters agreed Turnbach is too progressive and too radical for the mostly moderate Democrats of Ocean County. Many Democrats also shunned Turnbach over his unholy alliance with Toms River Republican Mayor Maurice Hill, who he routinely lavished praise upon the highly unpopular mayor and the members of Hill’s new Republicans of Toms River political club.

Turnbach lost to incumbent Democrat party chairman Wyatt Earp 276 votes to 186 votes.

It wasn’t the only loss for Turnbach this week. On Tuesday, Turnbach’s lawsuit which sought to disenfranchise Democrat voters by refusing remote ballot casting was rejected in court, dealing Turnbach’s strategy to win by keeping elderly and ill voters from voting a major blow.

Turnbach’s first strike came in November when Toms River voters overwhelmingly voted to remove him from office in November’s general election.

After dividing the Democrat party in Ocean County, which is on life support in most municipalities, Turnbach is now hoping Democrats take him back in as one of their own and is calling for unity amongst party members.

The defeat for Turnbach is also a defeat for his political ally, Toms River Mayor Maurice Hill who is up for re-election in 2023. Hill, who narrowly won his 2019 election is facing waning popularity among voters in Toms River. In a community where Republicans outnumber Democrats nearly three to one, Hill won his election by just a few dozen votes. Since taking office, Hill has pandered to niche groups in town, angering many with out of control spending, inconsistent policies and for many in town, a 50% or more property tax hike in the form of a property tax reassessment.

Turnbach sought to reform Toms River to become a more progressive and liberal community, including a proposal to build a massive homeless center and riding national liberal and progressive policies such as gender political, identity politics and police reform. Turnbach, a staunch supporter of the growing Orthodox Jewish community in town had lambasted township residents who fear the growing change in the fabric of the community in recent years, calling residents worried about the future of their community antisemitic.

Terrance Turnbach said Toms River residents should look at themselves in the mirror for their views against the Orthodox Jewish community when they spoke out against over-development in North Dover last year.