Moor Wins Third Term with 58% of the Vote

Mayor Moor and Councilmember Kendle Credit: Asbury Together

John Moor, Mayor of Asbury Park, was reelected to another four-year term with 58% of the total votes tallied so far (1704). Challengers Felicia Simmons garnered 31% (919) and Sonja Mack gained 10% (290).

Moor retired from the City of Asbury Park as the Deputy Director of Public Works in 2011. He also served on the Board of Education, and won a Council seat in 2014. Moor prides himself on being accessible to communicate with his constituents.

He shares his cell phone number with them and encourages them to contact him to discuss their issues and concerns. Moor has asked voters to give him one more term to serve, reiterating that he will not run again after this four-year period.

One of his most memorable and successful accomplishments was redesigning and rebuilding the boardwalk, which increased open public space on the North End when the waterfront redevelopment plan called for more private, meandering pathways. A fiscal conservative, Moor worked to stabilize the Municipal tax rate to improve Asbury Park’s Moody rating and he spearheaded the City’s response to Covid. He responded to advocates of affordable housing by enacting policies that addressed inclusionary zoning and rent control, but did not succeed in putting into motion many recommendations put forth by his appointed Equity Committee regarding the creation of a Civilian Complaint Review Board.

Two Competitors Garner 41%

Felicia Simmons, vocal housing and education advocate, fared better during her last bid for office. During the 2020 Presidential Election, she earned 1908 votes in her bid for Council, which was still not enough to unseat one of the three incumbents – Quinn, Clayton or Chapman. This year, Simmons chose to run for Mayor and campaigned on the need to address the City’s affordability crisis.
She also called for a unified vision of Asbury Park, bearing witness to the displacement of neighbors as a result of gentrification. Although she conceded, Simmons has vowed to continue her community work, specifically, leading the revitalization of the West Side Community Center as President and participating in the economic development initiatives of New Jersey Pan-African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NJPACCI).

Felicia Simmons, Asbury Park Mayoral Candidate Credit: Felicia Simmons 4 Asbury Park

Sonja Mack was a first-time candidate who entered the race to draw attention to issues related to Asbury Park youth. Mack used her campaign to underscore the need to focus on Asbury Park’s most vulnerable residents, and she has also promised to continue to stay involved and work on those issues.

Sonja Mack, Asbury Park Mayoral Candidate Credit: Sonja Mack's LinkedIn

Turnout Low, Vote Tally Still “Unofficial”

Voter turnout dropped to less than half of the 70% reported in the 2020 General Election to 34%. Out of 9685 current registered voters in Asbury Park, 3191 cast ballots in the current election. 5502 ballots were cast in 2020, with a roster of 8600 registered voters. The number of registered voters increased by 1085 since 2020, a 13% increase in two years. More people are registered to vote, but less people are participating.

Although Monmouth County Board of Elections has reported all results as “unofficial,” it is unlikely that challengers will take the lead in Asbury Park’s Mayoral race due to the impressive margin. Ballots pending to be counted include: ballots from election day drop boxes, late mail-in ballots, provisional ballots, and cure letters. Early voting ballots that were cast on voting machines, as well as on Election Day, have been counted, as well as 97% of the Election Day mail in ballots. Citing the new law, official results will not be available until 6 days following the election, due to ballots being counted that were postmarked by November 8.

The Monmouth County Board of Elections deadline for certification is Monday, Novembers 21.

Toni Zimmer is a founding member of the Asbury Park Reporter. She was president of The Writers Group, a small company that provided technical documentation for the power industry. She also served on the League of Women Voters in various leadership roles such as President of the League of Women Voters of NJ and on the Executive Board of LWVUS. She offers expertise on voting rights, elections, and civic engagement. Toni enjoys spending time with her family, writing, and working with young adults and children as a theatre Teaching Artist.

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