Democrats back candidate for borough council race

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BELMAR — The Belmar Democratic Committee has backed Gerald Buccafusco to run on the party’s ticket for this year’s municipal council race, going into this year’s primary election on June 8.

This year, the borough council seat currently occupied by Council President Pat Wann, a Republican who is completing her first time in office, is on the ballot. “Serving the community as a member of the council is my top priority. Many decisions by the current council will have long-term effects on the future of the borough,” Mr. Buccafusco said.

“I will work to ensure these critical decisions be made in the best interests of the residents and taxpayers. My promise is to serve as a diligent, honest and effective member of the Belmar Council.”

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The borough’s Democratic Party chose Mr. Buccafusco, who last year ran as an independent for borough council, last week. In the 2020 general election, he garnered 592 votes in a race that pitted him against Democratic incumbent and winner, Tom Brennan, and Republican Jodi Kinney.

Mr. Buccafusco said that much of his platform remains the same as last year, calling for increasing transparency, fiscal responsibility and managing redevelopment within the realm of the borough’s Master Plan and the Seaport Redevelopment Plan, which focuses on new development along Main Street.

In an interview with The Coast Star on Tuesday, the candidate said that he disagrees with how the current borough council handled multiple issues, including redevelopment and the negotiations with the Belmar First Aid Squad, as well as disability badges and the borough’s decision to cancel the recreation department’s annual summer camp.

“I think we have seen recently that there are issues coming up which, in my own opinion, shouldn’t be issues,” Mr. Buccafusco said. “It’s just the general management of the town seems to be not up to par, in my view.” According to the New Jersey Division of Elections website, the nomination petition filing deadline this year is April 5. Mail-in ballots for this year’s primary election will be sent out beginning on April 24.

Currently on the borough council there is only one Democrat, Mr. Brennan. Other members of the borough council, including James McCracken, Tom Carvelli and Mayor Mark Walsifer, are Republicans.

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