ANALYSIS : Murphy Victory in Lakewood Represents a Seismic Shift – The Vaad Influence Strong Across the Board

Just one year ago, Lakewood’s vote on election day made the headlines: Republican Donald Trump scored a higher percentage of the vote in Lakewood than in any of New Jersey’s 564 other municipalities. Trump beat Democrat Hillary Clinton by a 50% margin, a larger margin than Trump scored in Wyoming, which gave him the largest margin of any state in the union. The fact that Hillary Clinton won New Jersey by 13% made Trump’s Lakewood numbers all the more eye popping.

Indeed, Lakewood’s Republican bent is well established. In 2013, Governor Chris Christie won 82% of the vote in his re-election bid. And Lakewood has consistently voted Republican, by generous margins, for virtually all Federal, State and County positions on the ballot.

Hence, the results of yesterday’s election stand out starkly. Democrat Phil Murphy narrowly beat Republican Kim Guadagno in Lakewood, despite Guadagno’s roughly 2-1 victory margin across Ocean County. Within Lakewood itself, the traditionally Republican senior communities voted for Guadagno in strong numbers. Murphy’s victory is a result of a seismic shift in Lakewood’s Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods, which voted heavily for the Democrat.

There is no question that this seismic shift is largely the result of The Vaad’s strongly worded endorsement of Phil Murphy. In a meticulously prepared 12 page pamphlet, The Vaad detailed the state of community affairs in our region and why – despite strong difference on some key issues – Murphy was clearly the friendlier candidate, and the one whose positions on healthcare, school funding and other issues would most benefit our community’s families.

The Vaad’s endorsement was delivered to each household, and placed in various media outlets, as well on billboards in Shuls and other communal venues. The endorsements were studied and debated by community members – and the conclusion was clear: We will speak with one voice!

Lakewood residents trusted the wisdom of their Rabbanim and the askanim who have been navigating the complex trenches of New Jersey government for decades. Lakewood residents recognized that our community’s continued growth and diversification are only reason to be more united than ever, and to utilize the power of our larger, united vote more effectively than ever.

This was not only evident in the governor’s race. In races for County Freeholder, State Senate, State Assembly, Township Committee, Fire Commissioner and School Board, all Vaad endorsed candidates on the ballot won Lakewood by very comfortable margins. (The sole exception was a write-in School Board candidate who narrowly lost due to the technicality of two ballot lines, despite earning more total votes than the winner.) These results come despite the fact that many of the races on the ballot were spirited, and had fine, credible candidates on both sides of the aisle.

These results are heartwarming for anyone with a sincere interest in helping Lakewood succeed and prosper, and tackle challenges in an effective, united manner. Lakewood’s voters said a resounding no to division and slander, and a resounding yes to goodwill and cooperation.

Congratulations to the winners of all races on the ballot, and thank you to all candidates for stepping up to the plate and giving it their best. Special thanks, of course, to all voters who showed up at the polls despite busy schedules and difficult weather. We look forward to having our elected officials and askanim continue working together – positively and effectively – in the years ahead on behalf of our entire region.

This content, and any other content on TLS, may not be republished or reproduced without prior permission from TLS. Copying or reproducing our content is both against the law and against Halacha. To inquire about using our content, including videos or photos, email us at [email protected].

Stay up to date with our news alerts by following us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

**Click here to join over 15,000 receiving our Whatsapp Status updates!**

**Click here to join the official TLS WhatsApp Community!**

Got a news tip? Email us at [email protected], Text 415-857-2667, or WhatsApp 609-661-8668.


  1. it wasn’t a technicality that Chanina Nakdimen won they were running for 2 different seats and for that seat he got more votes so he won
    as we don’t have the actual write in results all we have are the total write ins we dont have the list of names yet how do you know they were all for speigel and anyway since you could vote for spiegel for the 3 year seat and write him in for the 1 year seat who said he got more votes anyway a lot of them could be doubles

      • that is how the process works i could vote for someone for a 3 year seat and write them in for a 1 year seat and both would count just for 2 different seats
        and the numbers we have for the write ins is totals write ins we don’t actually know yet who those write ins are probably most were for spiegal but we don’t know yet
        so its a bit disingenuous to say that he won on a technicality when that’s not true

  2. The VAAD letter was definitely a good read for those of us who don’t reside in Ocean County. It enabled us to understand the differences between the two Governor candidates.

    However, we were dismayed that the VAAD letter contained many misspelled words and used poor grammar.

  3. I think that nobody could vote for a Governor that was and is complicit in the Lakewood witch hunt.

    Even if the Vaad would have kept quiet, Murphy would have won.

    It is also possible that the Limbaugh bots learnt something in the year Trump was elected.

Comments are closed.