By WILLIAM CLARK
In the race for three seats on the Ocean Township Board of Education incumbent Amy McGovern with 4,176 votes at press time was the top vote getter followed by incumbent GraceAnne Talarico with 3,571 votes and a former board member Steve Clayton with 3,293 votes.
Jeff Weinstein, the current board president, received 3,268 votes trailing Clayton by just 25 votes as 100 percent of votes cast on election day have been counted.
Mail in ballots will be counted up to six days after polls close given they are postmarked by election day.
Also running were Kurt Dzibela with 2225 votes at press time and Helena Peppe with 2827 votes.
When asked to comment after the election Clayton said he respects the vote-counting process.
“I will wait for all remaining ballots to be counted,” he said. “I am very grateful for all the support I received, and if my lead holds, I look forward to working with my fellow board members on behalf of our students.”
McGovern said she will continue to work hard for the district.
“When I initially ran for the BOE in 2013, I was a write-in candidate with only two people on the ballot,” she said. “This year we had six excellent candidates in a close race. I am thankful for the support and trust Ocean Township residents have given me by electing me into this position for another three years. I have always run and served with no agenda, and I have an unwavering support for the common good of all students and staff throughout the district. I will continue to work hard on making important decisions that will improve our schools. It is humbling to see people showed up for me the past four elections, and I am truly grateful for the support. Thank you, Ocean.”
GraceAnne Talarico called the school board race this year intense.
“I appreciate the challengers that ran and the hard work they put into their campaigns,” she said. “ I am happy to see that more people recognize the importance of who is elected to their school boards and voted. I want to extend my deepest appreciation to everyone who supported my campaign and congratulate Amy McGovern and Steve Clayton on their (re)-election to the Ocean Township school board. Although it is close in numbers for the third seat, I am confident, Steve Clayton has earned that seat. I look forward to the next three years of serving the students, district, and community with my fellow board members.