OCEAN COUNTY, NJ - Earlier this month, Governor Phil Murphy signed an Executive Order changing the date for primary elections to Tuesday, July 7th.  On that date, Republicans and Democrats select their preference for their party's candidate for the November election. 

On a local level, there are two open seats for the Barnegat Township Committee. Incumbent Committeeman Alfonso Cirulli and Joseph Marte are on the Republican primary ticket. Democrats Charles J. Cunliffe and Peggy A. Houle appear on the primary ballot representing their party.

In Ocean Township, incumbent Mayor Ken Baulderstone is on the primary ticket as the Republican candidate. Rita Kopacz is on the primary ballot representing the Democratic organization.

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The Ocean County Clerk has one candidate from each of the parties running in the primary election. Incumbent Scott M. Colabella is a Republican and the Democratic candidate is Kathy M. Russell.

Incumbent Freeholder Joe Vicari is seeking reelection as a Republican. Democrat Helen Dela Cruz is running on the primary ballot for the same position.

Meanwhile, a review of all the municipalities and their candidates paints an interesting picture of Ocean County as a whole. In seven communities, no petitions were filed by members of the Democratic organization.  Lakewood is the only municipality where any type of primary challenge even exists. There are three Republican candidates running for two seats.

Barnegat and Ocean Township primary voters will also have the opportunity to select candidates for congress and senatorial seats. Incumbent Congressman Andrew Kim is seeking reelection, and is a member of the Democratic Party. As it now stands, Republicans will have a choice between Kate Gibbs and David Richter. Barnegat Mayor John Novak has filed an Order to Show Cause regarding issues with his petition.

Democratic primary candidates for senator include incumbent Corey Booker and Lawrence Hamm. The five Republicans seeking the party line are Eugene Anagnos, Tricia Flanagan, Rik Mehta, Natalie Rivera and Hirsh Singh.

Important Voting Information

Unregistered voters have until June 16th to register to vote in the primary elections. Additionally, there are deadlines for vote-by-mail ballots.

"The new deadline to submit a vote-by-mail ballot application through the mail is June 30," said Ocean County Clerk Scott M. Colabella.  "We must receive the application by June 30 in order to mail the ballot back to the voter.”

In order to vote in either the Republican or Democratic primaries, voters must have already declared their party affiliation. The one exception pertains to undeclared voters who choose a party by casting their first primary ballot.

Voter registration forms and mail in ballots are available from the Ocean County Clerk's office.