Election Day is just three weeks from today and there are plenty of races to watch all over the Garden State. 

(L-R) – Linda Stevens, Former Mayor Paul Brush, Gary L. Clifton and Eli Eytan, all running as Democrats for the Toms River Township Council. (Tom Mongellil, Townsquare Media NJ)

Although all eyes will be on the race for Governor, there are four seats up for grabs on the Toms River Township Council and four Democrats want them.

The slate of Linda Stevens, Former Toms River Mayor Paul Brush, Gary L. Clifton and Eli Eytan are running under the banner Restore The Trust.  They feel that there has been so many problems with the current council and structure of government during the past eight years that something needs to change, or all residents and business owners could be in big trouble, especially in the taxes and affordability department.

The four Democrats held a late afternoon press conference on Monday outside Toms River Town Hall, which was closed for the Columbus Day holiday.  According to campaign literature, "in the last eight years, the all Republican council has increased the municipal budget 57 percent from $74 million dollars to $116 million.  In addition to skyrocketing taxes, our bond debt has increased to almost $160 million, not counting Superstorm Sandy.  This is costing our taxpayers over $11 million dollars every year in interest payments, yet the council continues to spend!"

Former Mayor Brush says "Toms River deserves a government that benefits all the residents, not just the political insiders.  We will restore the voter's trust in their Council to deal with the problems created by Sandy, bring fiscal responsibility to the township budget, abolish the patronage-ridden MUA and strengthen our police force to deal with the current crime wave in our town."

Linda Stevens says "People don't really understand what is going on with the council."  The team wants to have more transparency in the walls of town hall.  One idea would be to televise the meetings on local cable.  While they are streamed online, Brush and the others feel it's not good enough as there are some residents who don't have or have limited internet access.

Eli Eytan explains how the MUA isn't needed.  He says "other communities like Manchester, Stafford and Waretown have dissolved their MUA's and given the responsibilities to public works.  It has saved a lot of money over time and it can here."

All four plan to take the $9,000 salary for the part time position but refuse to take health benefits.  They each plan to put a stop to council health plans if they are elected.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 5th.