JACKSON, NJ – When Jackson GOP President Todd Porter found out an Orthodox Jewish man was running for a one-year seat on the Jackson Township Board of Education, he sprung into action to stop it along with Jackson Republican Committeewoman Clara Glory, owner of Glory’s Market. Porter and Glory had been condemned by their own Republican National Committee last year for anti-semitic posts on Facebook and together with Mayor Michael Reina and members of the township council launched a plan to defeat Tzvi Herman and block his path to the school board.
This week, Herman reach the 10,000 vote count. According to his campaign manager, Mordechai Burnstein, there are only 3,000 or so Jewish votes in Jackson, meaning 7,000 non-Jewish residents voted for Herman.
The Jackson GOP coordinated an effort to write-in school teacher Michael Braun. Herman now has 9,922 votes and is expected to break the 10,000 vote count once ballot-counting resumes in Toms River. Right now, the Ocean County Election Board is shut down after 7 workers contracted COVID-19 last week.
It’s unknown how many write-in ballots Braun received, but a total of 8,928 write-in ballots were cast. That’s 1,000 less than Herman, but that number was split between Braun and his write-in opponent Allison Borocas, not counting the usual 200-300 ballots for people like Mickey Mouse, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Donald Trump, Barack Obama and the annual “Box of Rocks” that is good for a few votes each year.
Essentially, the Jackson GOP effort to keep Herman off the school board failed. The club spent thousands of dollars on lawn signs and other marketing expenses to promote Braun’s write-in campaign.
“This outcome shows that Jackson voters were not concerned at all about Mr. Herman’s religious beliefs,” said his Campaign Manager Mordechai Burnstein. “It shows that we can all come together as one town and work as one to navigate through the challenges we all face together. Mr. Herman will do a great job on the board and represent the interests of everyone in the town.”
Herman was criticized and challenged by the Jackson GOP for being an Orthodox Jew with no children in the public school system. Several current sitting board members also have no children in the district and it has always been that way. Longtime school board member Marvin Krakower and former GOP candidate Marty Speilman had no children in the district during their terms. Currently sitting members Gus Acevedo and John Burnetsky also have no children in the Jackson School District.
Ocean County GOP Chairman Frank Holman initially denied the Jackson GOP’s role to keep Herman off the board, later telling Herman’s campaign manager he was suprised when he learned it to be true.