Home Somerset county GOP takes over Somerset County commission seats

GOP takes over Somerset County commission seats

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The Republicans made a remarkable comeback by winning two seats on the Somerset County Commissioners Council.

With 98% of constituencies reporting, Republicans Michael Kirsh and Amber Murad have a comfortable lead over Democrats Shanel Robinson and Sara Sooy.

Kirsh leads with 42,072 votes followed by Murad with 41,019 votes.

Robinson has 36,169 votes and Sooy has 35,675 votes.

The results are not official and the mail-in ballots have yet to be counted.

The Republican candidates followed former Somerset County independent owner Jack Ciattarelli, who edged out Democratic Governor Phil Murphy in the county, 42,743-38,222.

If the vote tally holds, the Republicans will break the Democrats’ hold on the governing body 5-0.

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Amber Murad and Michael Kirsch, Republican candidates for Somerset County Commissioner.

Robinson and Sooy broke the GOP’s unanimous grip on the landowner board three years ago.

Since Robinson and Sooy became the first Democrats to hold a seat on the county’s governing body in more than three decades, Democrats have won all three races over the next two years, solidifying their grip on government County.

Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans in the county, 92,921 to 66,455, with 100,367 unaffiliated voters. The keys to the election are whether Democrats can get their voters to vote in a non-presidential year and whether Republicans can persuade unaffiliated voters to join their cause.

Prior to becoming County Commissioner, Robinson was a member of Franklin City Council and Deputy Mayor. A United States Air Force Reserve veteran, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Labor Studies and Labor Relations from Rutgers University.

Sooy, a resident of Bound Brook, previously served on the Somerset Hills School District School Board from 2015 to 2018. She holds an MBA in Real Estate Development from Rutgers and works in the commercial real estate industry.

Kirsh is a member of the Township of Bridgewater Council and previously served on the Township of Green Brook Committee. A marketing executive, he holds a BA from Brown University and an MBA from Rutgers.

Murad is a member of the Watchung District School Board. A management and operations professional, she holds a degree in business administration from the University of Maryland.


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