Gloucester County Republican Chairman Bill Fey will get his shot to take control of the county's historically Democratic Board of Freeholders in November.
Fey's candidates, who were endorsed by the GOP, beat a slate of challengers backed by freshman Assemblyman Domenick DiCicco by a significant margin in Tuesday night's primary.
"Since Bill Fey took over [the party] two years ago, the county has changed. He's put a whole army of people out there," said Barbara Capelli, a former Wenonah councilwoman who was among the top vote-getters. "The Democrats are lying low. We're going to look under every rock and stone to show what's going on."
Capelli, along with Elk Township Committeeman Mike Pantaleo, who is general manager of an engineering firm, and Harrison Township's Penni Heritage, a vineyard and winery owner, will take on Democratic incumbents Warren Wallace, Heather Simmons, and former Logan Township Councilman Lyman Barnes in the general election. The Democrats ran unopposed in the primary.
Gloucester County Republicans, who have not had a majority on the seven-member freeholder board in 15 years, won two seats last year.
There were no surprises in Camden and Burlington Counties.
In Camden County, Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli Jr. and Freeholder Scot McCray handily won the Democratic primary against Amy LaConte-Smith and Thomas J. Stearns Jr., both political unknowns.
They will face Joshua Rocks of Haddon Township and Eugene E.T. Lawrence of Gloucester Township in November. The GOP-endorsed candidates easily beat Fernando Powers, who sued the IRS in 2007, contending the federal agency had no authority to tax him, and Helen Hart-Magobet.
In Burlington County, a Republican stronghold, GOP-backed Evesham Township Councilman Joe Howarth and Moorestown businesswoman Leah Arter easily won their primary against Marion Eggleton, a political newcomer who championed seniors' issues.
They will run in November against incumbent Democrat Mary Anne I. Reinhart of Shamong Township and Machell Still-Pettis of Westampton, who ran unopposed in the primary.