Jackson voters appear to have tapped Reina for new four-year term


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JACKSON — Voters in Jackson appear to have re-elected Michael Reina, who has served as the township’s mayor since December 2008, to a new four-year term as mayor.

Voters also appear to have elected Reina’s two running mates in the 2022 general election to four-year terms on the Township Council.

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According to unofficial election results posted online by the Ocean County Clerk’s Office, as of Nov. 9, Reina had defeated Martin Flemming III, who is the current president of the Township Council, in the race for Jackson’s top elected position. The results from the Nov. 8 election showed Reina with 9,254 votes and Flemming with 8,165 votes.

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.

Two four-year terms on the Township Council were also on the ballot. The four candidates in the race were Jennifer Kuhn and Scott Sargent, who ran on a ticket with Reina, and Andrew Kern and Samara O’Neill, who ran on a ticket with Flemming.

Kern and O’Neill are current members of the Township Council. Their service on the governing body will end in December.

Kuhn and Sargent will join the council in January at the same time Reina begins serving his new term.

According to unofficial election results posted online by the Ocean County Clerk’s Office, as of Nov. 9, Kuhn, with 9,028 votes, and Sargent, with 8,696 votes, won the two available council terms.

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

O’Neill, with 7,790 votes, and Kern, with 7,747 votes, fell short in their bid to retain their seats on the governing body.

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.

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

Jackson has nonpartisan municipal elections and neither mayoral candidates nor Township Council candidates run under the banner of a political party, however, a political party may endorse a candidate or candidates. All six candidates in the 2022 election identified themselves as Republicans.

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