19-Year-Old Wins NJ School Board Seat Following ‘Awful’ COVID-19 Shutdowns

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
November 5, 2021 Updated: November 13, 2021

A 19-year-old who recently graduated high school defeated an incumbent candidate for a school board in New Jersey on Tuesday, telling local media that he believes he won because of the school board’s COVID-19-related school lockdowns.

Nicholas Seppy, a 2020 graduate from Egg Harbor Township High School, defeated incumbent school board member Terre Alabarda by 17 percentage points.  With 100 percent of precincts reporting as of Wednesday, Seppy had obtained 4,042 votes to Alabarda’s 2,830.

“My passion for the community of Egg Harbor Township is entirely everlasting, I aspire to set a positive example for our district,” he wrote on Instagram. On Facebook, Seppy wrote that he will “represent the parent, student, and taxpayer of Egg Harbor Township.”

Speaking to The Epoch Times, Seppy said that he believes that “overall there was a lack of enthusiasm for the students of Egg Harbor Township to achieve a proper education under COVID-19 lockdowns” and told The College Fix that he suspects shutdowns propelled him to victory.

The lockdowns, Seppy said, were “awful” and he ran “out of a desire to serve in [his] community” and to “give parents a voice in the district,” while adding that he doesn’t believe hybrid learning—which combines online educational materials with in-person methods—is “yielding the enthusiasm in students they thought it would.”

Younger students ended up missing “out on an entire year of education,” he argued.

“Parents were not being listened to,” Seppy also told the Washington Examiner, adding that he conducted a campaign that was “run in positivity, not in negativity.”

Tuesday’s election in New Jersey also saw 58-year-old furniture truck driver Ed Durr, who has never held public office, defeat Democratic Senate President Steve Sweeney by 2,000 votes despite Durr’s campaign spending only a few thousand dollars. Earlier reports stated that he spent only $153 on his campaign, but Durr told news outlets that he actually spent thousands.

“It didn’t happen because of me,” Durr told reporters on Thursday. “I’m nobody. I’m absolutely nobody. I’m just a simple guy. It was the people. It was a repudiation of the policies that have been forced down their throats.”

At the statewide level, GOP gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli is neck and neck with incumbent Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat. Ciattarelli’s campaign hasn’t yet conceded, although Murphy leads him by less than one percentage point.

Even if Ciattarelli doesn’t win, the close race between Ciattarelli and Youngkin could suggest that Democrats may have a difficult time keeping their majorities in the House or even Senate. Elsewhere, Republican Glenn Youngkin, meanwhile, defeated former Democrat Gov. Terry McAuliffe for Virginia’s governor’s seat.

Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.