BRICK TOWNSHIP, NJ – John Ducey, the only Democrat mayor elected to office in a major municipality in Ocean County where Republicans typically dominate is stepping down. With the retirement of longtime Ocean County Superior Court Judge Mark Troncone, Ducey is the Democrat party’s handpicked successor for the seat.
That appointment, which needs to be approved by Governor Phil Murphy will leave a power vacuum in the Republican town that has been under Democrat control for years. Ducey is one of the few Democrats with enough name and brand recognition to carry his team year after year to beat the Republicans.
But are Brick residents ready to switch back to the GOP in a time of turmoil within the Republican Party?
In the next mayoral election, the battle between Republicans for Ducey’s seat could be more bloody than their battle against the Democrats.
Once again, the forces aligned behind former Ocean County GOP Chairman Frank Holman, Sheriff Michael Mastronardy and Assemblyman Gregory P. McGuckin will likely do hand-to-hand street combat with the forces aligned with new GOP Chairman George Gilmore.
In July, the Brick Republican Club endorsed Gilmore for chairman and Brick resident Ruthanne Scaturro for Vice Chairwoman.
The impending resignation of Ducey for higher office could also end the Democrat Party’s stronghold on township government.
Ducey won his third consecutive election in 2021.