Burlington County Freeholders Stacey Jordan and Aubrey Fenton easily defended their seats against Republican primary challengers in today's election.

Medford Lakes Councilman Gary Woodend, the third member of their slate, won the party's nomination for county clerk.

Primary voters chose the team by a wide margin, and the freeholders attributed their victory to their work in lowering the county tax levy this year and running an efficient government.

"I think voters were happy with the direction that we're taking the board in," said Jordan. "They see us cutting taxes. They see us staying on the right track."

Fenton is in the third year of his first term, and Jordan was appointed to the board in January to replace Dawn Addiego after she was elected to the Assembly.

Evesham Councilwoman Debbie Sarcone and Shamong Mayor Jonathan Shevelew, who ran for freeholder, and clerk candidate Lauri Sheppard, a former Mount Holly mayor, campaigned against the trio on a message of reforming the county GOP machine's "backroom" politics.

"I think we all stood up for ourselves, and the numbers show that there are still a lot of people that are unhappy," said Sarcone. "It was a low turnout, and it's hard to try to beat the machine. I think we put up a good fight."

Sarcone and her slate had been taking aim in particular at Jordan, who had never held elected office before her appointment. Jordan is the daughter of former freeholder Vincent Farias, who decided last year against running for reelection. Republicans passed up Sarcone, a councilwoman since 2005, for the job.

A third slate in the primary contest - husband and wife Edward and Carol Moore for the freeholder seats and Michael Carr for the clerk's office - served as placeholders for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Murray Sabrin so he could have a separate column on the ballot.

The winners pummeled their opponents in fundraising. Fenton, Jordan and Woodend spent about half of the $211,919 they collectively raised; Sarcone, Shevelew and Sheppard spent $16,703.02 of $29,460 raised, according to the most recently filed campaign-disclosure reports.

In the fall, Fenton and Jordan will face Democrats Chris Brown and Maryanne Reinhart, who ran unopposed yesterday. Woodend will face Timothy Tyler, also a Democrat, in the clerk's race.