Reina, Flemming to face off for four-year mayor’s term in Jackson


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JACKSON — Michael Reina, who has served as Jackson’s mayor since December 2008, and Martin Flemming III, who is the current president of the Township Council, will vie for the four-year term as mayor in the Nov. 8 general election.

Two four-year terms on the Township Council will also be on the Nov. 8 ballot. The four residents who filed nominating petitions to run for the two terms are Jennifer Kuhn, Scott Sargent, Andrew Kern and Samara O’Neill.

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Two slates have emerged to seek the mayor’s position and the council seats: Reina, Kuhn and Sargent are running as a team, and Flemming, Kern and O’Neill are running as a team.

In the 2018 election, Reina and Kern ran on the same slate of candidates and were elected to municipal office with Alex Sauickie III. In August, Sauickie resigned from the Township Council to take an open seat in the New Jersey General Assembly.

Four years later, Kern is running on a ticket with Flemming. Kern is serving the final year of his first term on the council. He grew up in Jackson and graduated from Jackson Memorial High School. Prior to his election to the Township Council, he served on the Planning Board.

O’Neill, who is a real estate professional, was appointed to an open seat on the council on Sept. 13. Her appointment runs through Dec. 31. She succeeded Sauickie after he resigned from the governing body upon his selection to fill an open seat in the state Assembly.

According to a post on her Facebook page, Kuhn is a lifelong resident of Jackson and a graduate of Jackson Memorial High School. She is a real estate professional.

According to a post on his Facebook page, Sargent has lived in Jackson for 30 years. He is serving his 10th year on the Jackson School District Board of Education. Sargent is employed by Jackson Department of Public Works.

Reina, who has lived in Jackson for 35 years, was appointed mayor in December 2008 and subsequently elected to the position in a special election in November 2009. He was re-elected as Jackson’s mayor in 2010, 2014 and 2018. Reina is the Ocean County superintendent of bridges.

Flemming was appointed to the Township Council in January 2020 to fill an open seat. In November 2020 he was elected to serve a four-year term that is scheduled to end on Dec. 31, 2024. Flemming is the owner of County Line Hardware in Jackson.

Jackson residents who wanted to run for mayor and Township Council had until Sept. 6 to file a nominating petition. Residents do not need the approval of a political party to run for office.

Jackson has nonpartisan municipal elections and neither the mayoral candidates nor the council candidates run under the banner of a political party, however, a political party may endorse a candidate or candidates.

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