In a nod to the changing demographics in Ocean County, the first election victory celebration for a non-Lakewood candidate was held in a local kosher restaurant on Tuesday night.
The campaign to re-elect Jackson Mayor Mike Reina held an event to celebrate Reina’s win and raise funds to cover campaign costs. Attended by the most Republican leaders in Ocean County, the event underlined the changing demographics in the county and the need to work together. Speakers viewed the election as a victory for cooperation over bigotry. The venue -kosher Glatt Ambience in Lakewood- was chosen in order to allow all who took part in the campaign to participate fully.
Attendees included gubernatorial hopeful Jack Ciattarelli, Lakewood State Senator Bob Singer, Assemblymen John Catalano, Greg McGuckin, and Alex Sauickie; Ocean County Sheriff Michael Mastronardy, Ocean County Commissioners Jack Kelly, Gary Quinn, and Bobbi Jo Crea; Toms River Councilman Greg McGuckin, County Federation of Republican Women President Noriko Kowalewski, Ocean County Administrator Michael Fiure, Jerry J. Dasti – Chair, Board of Trustees of Forked River; and Ocean County GOP Chairman George Gilmore.
Speakers discussed the need for further cooperation between the Orthodox Jewish residents of Ocean County and the broader population. “Currently, one in six residents in the county are observant Jewish,” Sheriff Mastronardy commented, “and that is only going to increase.”
Jewish community activists were present as well, including Jackson askanim Tzvi Herman and Mordy Burnstein, and Lakewood’s Dr. Rich Roberts.
In his speech, Burnstein pointed out that this was the first Ocean County political event that took pains to make sure kosher-observant participants could be included.