TOMS RIVER, NJ – Pizza family magnate and state MVC employee Maria Maruca was soundly defeated by Lavallette Police Sergeant Justin Lamb in the Toms River Township Republican Municipal Council primary election. Lamb defeated the longtime Toms River councilwoman 54% to 45% in Tuesday’s election.
Also winning on Tuesday is firebrand councilman Daniel Rodrick who defeated his opponent Jason Crispin 58% to 41%. On the northern end of town, Mo Hill and Toms River Jewish Community Council candidate James Quinlisk defeated Grace Piscopo with a large turnout of voters, 65% to 33%.
Another Mo Hill-backed candidate, David Ciccozzi defeated anti-Hill candidate John Loiacono 54% to 45%. Now, the two opposing factions must unite under one Republican banner after a bitter primary that pitted the Mo Hill team against the Dan Rodrick team, ending in a 50-50 split.
For Maruca, her defeat ends a nearly two-decade run in office that saw Toms River taxes skyrocket. She was the only incumbent running on the Mo Hill ticket on Tuesday.
“Thank you to the 1,207 Republican voters of Toms River Ward 1 and to the many, many supporters over the years that have come out for me. I want to thank my opponent for a hard race and I look forward to bringing our party together in November. I am truly honored to earn your support this year and serve you,” Lamb said.
Now the split Toms River Republican ticket will face off against a Democrat team lead by criminal defense attorney Terrance Turnbach, whose practice specializes, according to its website in defending child molesters, pornographers, and sex crime suspects. It is anticipated that Hill’s new Republican club will work to subvert the Rodrick candidates and work behind the scenes with Turnbach’s Democrats to make sure Rodrick does not return to office in November.