JACKSON-Jackson Township has its first official contender s for seats on the governing body in this year’s general election. The establishment Jackson GOP Club has filed with the New Jersey Election Commission this week for the campaign of Planning Board member Andrew Kern, Zoning Board member Alex Sauickie, III. The pair will join Mayor Michael Reina on his ticket this year. His quadrennial running mates, Scott Martin and Anne Updegrave will not be on the ticket this year.
Kern and Sauickie are seeking the office of township council while Reina is seeking his fourth consecutive election win as mayor of Jackson.
Councilman Ken Bressi, who serves on the planning board with Kern is identified the campaign treasurer while Jackson GOP chairman William Allman will be the treasurer for the campaign. Clara Glory of Glory’s Market is also listed on the filing as a authorized check signer for the campaign.
The filing was made on May 30th.
Republican Councilwoman Anne Updegrave and Councilman Scott Martin, whose terms expire this year will not be on the club line of the non-partisan election. Martin has indicated he will run on his own, but has yet to file.
Jackson is a non-partisan form of government, meaning there are no party lines and no official Republican or Democrat lines. Any member of the community can run for office regardless of their political affiliations.
Insiders within the Jackson GOP said the choice to oust Martin and select Kern manifested into a contentious debate at the April 24th meeting of the regular Republican Club. This was the first endorsement made by the club since their announcement that all candidates would have to submit to background checks prior to their endorsements.
Jackson Republicans will have to overcome public backlash over thousands of new high density housing units across multiple developments approved by the council and planning board over the past year. Last month, establishment Republicans were faced with more public scrutiny after their appointment of Lakewood political allies, Yankel Wenger and Israel Israel Bursztyn, high ranking officials of the Lakewood Civilian Safety Watch to the township clergy here in Jackson, further compounding already tense situations in the community.
To date, two opponents have challenged Mayor Michael Reina and the establishment GOP club. Conservative Republican John Maneri has been actively campaigning for the seat along with Democrat Gene Davis.
The club has not officially announced the ticket, some say due to ongoing infighting over the choices, but the filing with the state marks the official launch of the campaign.