FREEHOLD — Monmouth County’s only mayoral race this year is in Bradley Beach, where with more than a third of the vote being reported by the Monmouth County Clerk’s Office, Larry Fox held an early lead over Councilman Al Gubitosi.
However, counting by the board of elections lagged with only 56 percent of the mail-in ballots tallied as of Wednesday morning, in-person votes just beginning to be counted and no provisional votes yet counted.
As of 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, Mr. Fox led with 638 votes to 591 for Mr. Gubitosi.
“I am feeling really good about the fact that we were making phone calls until 6 p.m. tonight, to people we thought haven’t voted, and knocked on doors all through the weekend up until Monday,” Mr. Fox told The Coast Star Tuesday night.
Councilman Gubitosi said that he was encouraged to be down by only about 50 votes in the early tallies. “It’s exciting, it’s a real race as I thought that it would be,” he said. “I have been telling people for weeks that I was hoping it would be close … right now I still think it is anyone’s race.”
Heights challengers take early council lead
In the contested race for two borough council seats in Spring Lake Heights, two Democratic challengers, Christine Nevin Meloro [611 votes] and Mike Milano  were leading Republicans — Peter Gallo  and incumbent Councilman John Casagrande .
Ms. Nevin Meloro said that she and Mr. Milano were “feeling great” about their early lead. “We’re looking forward to the results and for doing some wonderful things for Spring Lake Heights.”
Manasquan council incumbents lead early tally
In the contested race for two borough council seats in Manasquan, Democratic incumbents Michael Mangan, the council president, [990 votes] and Jeffrey Lee [1,130] were leading their lone Republican challenger Patricia Connolly .
Belmar’s sole Democrat has lead over Republican challenger
In Belmar, the borough council’s sole Democrat, Thomas Brennan, opened an early lead over Republican challenger Jodi Kinney and independent candidate Gerald Buccafusco. As of 9 a.m. Wednesday, Mr. Brennan, the council’s president, had 945 votes, to Ms. Kinney’s 698 and Mr. Buccafusco’s 348.
School board races
In one of the few contested races for boards of eduction in Monmouth County, Bradley Beach school board member JohnEric Advento was badly trailing in a five-person race for three seats. Liza Flynn was leading the early vote with 663, followed by Roseann Caruso Walker , Joanne Shu , Jonathan Lindy Barratt  and Mr. Advento 
Felicia Sacci, running unopposed for a one-year unexpired term, had 772 votes in the early tally.
In the contested race for three seats on the Manasquan Board of Education, board president Eugene Cattani [894 votes] and fellow incumbents Bruce Bolderman  and Terence Hoverter  were leading newcomer Louis Barbera .
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