Democrats in Toms River have found their replacement for John Furey, their mayoral nominee to run against Republican Councilman Dan Rodrick this November. Furey withdrew from the race earlier this month.
Ben Giovine, a top aide to Rep. Andy Kim (NJ-3) and former president of the Toms River Board of Education, was voted to be the Democrats’ mayoral candidate by the county committee on Monday, the New Jersey Globe reported.
“I take this step with the support of my family and friends and with the support of the many Republicans, Democrats, and Independents that have reached out to express their concerns about the future of our town,” Giovine said. “My campaign will be centered around the local issues that affect residents every day.”
According to the Globe, Democrats believe they may be able to pull off an upset against Rodrick, whose two terms as a Councilman have been mired in controversy, with allegations that he engaged in overt anti-Semitism during his campaigns.
Political analysts point to the 2019 election as an example, noting that despite voting for Donald Trump over Joe Biden by 24 percentage points just a year later, Toms River nearly elected Democrat Jonathan Petro as mayor against Mo Hill.
It is as of yet unclear whether the Toms River Jewish Community Council (TRJCC) will throw its support behind Giovine or sit out the election, as it is highly unlikely they will endorse Rodrick.