Reina keeps mayor’s seat in Jackson

Staff Writer

Voters opted to keep Michael Reina at the helm of Jackson’s municipal government on Nov. 4, electing him to serve another four-year term as mayor.

“I am humbled by the fact that the residents of Jackson once again wanted me to represent them for another four years,” Reina said.

According to results provided by Ocean County election officials, Reina received 7,167 votes, and his opponent William Spedding received 5,214 votes. The results are unofficial until they are certified by the county.

Reina, who has been Jackson’s mayor since 2008, said his performance at the polls was the result of his “hands-on approach” to governance.

“I think no matter what, the people recognize that whenever there is an issue, I am there front and center,” Reina said. “Putting Jackson first has always been a priority and I think that was definitely recognized.”

The mayor said he plans to stay the course when it comes to Jackson’s fiscal, social and public safety needs.

“The main issue for me is to continue what I started, which is economic growth, public safety, and naturally to hold the line on taxes as much as I can,” he said.

Reina said he was bolstered by the outpouring of support he received from residents during his campaign and by the number of people who voted for him.

“To know I have the support of the residents behind me makes it not only easier, but it actually gives me the confidence to move forward because they agree with me,” Reina said. “This confirms we are moving forward.”

Spedding said he was proud of his campaign and the support he received.

“I was pleased with the number of people who supported me and I am appreciative of their recognition,” he said. “I wish the people of Jackson well and I hope things work out for the benefit of the people.”

Spedding said he was encouraged by the fact his platform became a rallying cry for many of his supporters by the end of the campaign.

“It seemed the issues that were emphasized [by my campaign], including taxes and preserving the character of neighborhoods, resonated in certain areas of the town,” Spedding said.

He said the use of political materials that openly displayed a candidate’s affiliation with a political party in a nonpartisan election was an improper move by his opponent.

“A big factor in the outcome was that the mayor and his running mates had many pieces of literature emphasizing the fact that he had Republican Party backing … which is entirely inconsistent, if not illegal, under a nonpartisan form of government,” Spedding said.

Jackson has a nonpartisan form of government, and candidates do not run under the banner of a political party; however, a candidate or candidates may be endorsed by a political party.

“If you are going to have a partisan election, then switch to that form of government and don’t pretend or subvert the nonpartisan concept,” Spedding said.

Reina said he wanted to keep the discussion surrounding the election positive.

“Everybody knows that with this campaign we were hit with malicious attacks and lies, but I am not going to discuss that because that is not important,” he said. “The most important thing is putting Jackson first.”