Singer re-elected to 9th term on governing body

BY JOYCE BLAY Staff Writer

Staff Writer

LAKEWOOD — Republican Township Committeeman Robert Singer easily won a ninth three-year term on the Township Committee by defeating Democrat Amy Harrison and independent candidate Yehuda Shain in the Nov. 2 election.

Singer has served 24 consecutive years on the Lakewood governing body. He is also a state senator representing parts of Ocean, Monmouth, Mercer and Burlington counties.

Voters cast 14,627 votes for Singer, including absentee ballots. Harrison received 6,527 votes, including absentee ballots. Shain received 1,051 votes, including absentee ballots.

Singer acknowledged that his 8,100-vote margin of victory may have been the result of a larger than normal turnout in a presidential election year.

“I would like to think that my hard work was why I was re-elected, but I’m always willing to take help from the president,” he said.

Lakewood residents cast 15,219 votes for Republican President George W. Bush in his bid for re-election. His Democratic opponent, U.S. Sen. John Kerry, received 7,371 votes in Lakewood.

A total of 22,820 voters out of 35,217 registered voters went to the polls.

Harrison did not return calls after the election. Her campaign manager, Marta Harrison, who is also the sister-in-law of Amy Harrison, spoke to the Tri-Town News instead.

“Overall, we knew it [would] be a tough race,” she said. “I think overall Lakewood went Republican, [but] we wouldn’t have done anything differently and Sen. Singer has been around for a long time.”

Marta Harrison, who is a formerTownship Committee member and mayor, said she did not know if Amy Harrison would run again for public office.

Shain said he would definitely continue to pursue a political career.

“I feel that the following year, [if] I can get on [the ballot] with one of the major parties, [I could win],” Shain said. “In a [non-presidential election] year, [about] 10,000 to 12,000 votes [are cast in Lakewood]. Four thousand of those votes would be more than enough [for me] to win the election.”

Shain said once a revaluation of all property in the township is complete, he anticipated that it would become an issue in the next election. He said he will hope to take advantage of voter discontent with the results of the revaluation to make the case for change on the Township Committee.

“I would educate the public on tax issues and do a bigger campaign to get my message out to the people,” he said.

Singer took the Election Day results as an indication that voters approved of the initiatives he had pursued as a government representative. He said that in the next three years he would continue to advocate for more parking in Lakewood, a tree save ordinance and the establishment of a muster zone he proposed recently, which would provide a waiting area for day laborers seeking employment.