Camden County voters on Tuesday will choose a slate of Republican freeholder candidates and set the general election ballot in several municipal races.
Eight candidates are running to represent the Republican Party in November's freeholder election, and the Democratic slate is set with incumbents Edward T. McDonnell and Carmen G. Rodriguez.
The Republican contenders have clashed over matters of personal politics, but are all campaigning largely on platforms calling for smaller government and lower property taxes.
Representing the established GOP are Scot De Cristofaro of Haddon Township and George J. Zallie of Cherry Hill, owner of a chain of ShopRite supermarkets in South Jersey.
Gene M. Mignogna of Pennsauken and Bernard I. Shuster of Cherry Hill represent a splinter group that formed out of the GOP's failed run for Cherry Hill Council last year.
Four others - Joseph A. Hughes of Atco, Frank Snyder of Cherry Hill, Keith C. Beebe Jr. of Gloucester Township, and John C. Ruschak of Gloucester Township - round out the freeholder column on Camden County ballots.
Insiders from both parties describe this election as the best chance in years for Republicans to break the Democrats' almost two-decade hold on the freeholder board.
"It's very difficult for us just with the registration advantage the Democrats have, which is about 3 to 1," said Richard Ambrosino Jr., treasurer of the Camden County Republican Committee. "This year, more so than any other in the last five years, we have a good chance."
In the governor's race last year, Jon S. Corzine won Camden County with 54 percent of the vote, although he lost statewide to Gov. Christie.
In Camden City, Republicans Clyde E. Cook and Edward D. Torres are campaigning to see who will run against Democrat Deborah Person-Polk, who was appointed to City Council in February after Gilbert Wilson resigned to take a seat in the state Assembly.
In Lawnside, Democrats Mary Ann Wardlow, Stephen C. Moore, and Clifford L. Still Sr. are competing to be the borough's next mayor; no Republicans have filed to run.
In Runnemede, Democrats Ginny Betteridge and Bertha Kalvaitis are running for mayor. And Democrats Lisa Scaramuzzo, Joseph Aupperle, Frank Williams, and Ed White and running for two council seats. No Republicans are signed up for the November election.
In Stratford, Steven Easterday and Stephen Venuto, who have the endorsement of the county Republican Party, are running against Albert Adolf and Kim Berdine to see who will run on the Republican ticket in the November election for two Town Council seats.