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19-Year-Old Unseats Incumbent NJ School Board Member Following ‘Awful’ COVID-19 Shutdowns

Victor Westerkamp
Victor resides in the Netherlands and writes about freedom and governmental and social changes to the democratic form of nations.
Published: November 5, 2021
Nicholas Seppy, a 2020 graduate from Egg Harbor Township High School, defeated the incumbent school board member by a 17 percentage points margin and said he decided to campaign in part out of frustration because of the COVID-19 partial lockdown imposed during his final examination year. (Image: NICHOLAS SEPPY/Facebook)

A 19-year-old’s successful bid for a seat on a New Jersey school board on Tuesday might mark a nationwide trend toward more traditionalist policies, and away from COVID-19 over-regulation, political correctness, and mandatory vaccinations.

After defeating incumbent candidate, Ms. Terre Alabarda, by 17 percentage points for a seat with the school board of education in Egg Harbor Township Nicholas J. Seppy exclaimed on Instagram, “I am overjoyed to announce that I have won a seat on the EHT Board of Education!!”

“My passion for the community of Egg Harbor Township is entirely everlasting, I aspire to set a positive example for our district. EHT shall have an excellent reputation, in both our standard of education and our efficient process of our budget,” Seppy remarked, adding that, “I would like to thank all who have supported me over these past two years, without you none of this would have ever been possible.” 

Seppy, who already served as a student representative for the school board from 2019 to 2020, emphasized that he believed in positive campaigning; an attitude that’s reflected by the way he thanked his opponent, “I would also like to thank my opponent, Ms. Terre Alabarda, for running a strong and fair election,” he stated on his Instagram post.

“It is my intention to serve with the utmost integrity when making decisions on behalf of the public and the staff to make a more prosperous and safer district,” Seppy said in a statement prior to the election to the Atlantic City Press.

According to The College Fix, the teenage board member said he was frustrated by the lockdowns, which he called “awful,” and that they made him run for the position in the first place. 

Seppy added that he doesn’t believe in hybrid learning, which combines online educational materials with in-person methods. “Hybrid education was not yielding the enthusiasm in students they thought it would,” he said. Especially with younger students, they ended up missing “out on an entire year of education.”

Instead, Seppy vowed to have parents have a say in the educational program and to “expand civics education and increase vocational training” for students in the Egg Harbor Township. 

Possible trendsetter

The recent defeat may signal a trend among voters who favor candidates who advocate a more traditionalist governing style while opposing continuous mandates and lockdowns. 

READ MORE: Glenn Youngkin Wins Virginia Governor Race, Checking Democrat Advance

At the statewide level, GOP gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli lost by a minimal margin to incumbent Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat who had previously been considered a safe bet to win reelection. 

Republican Glenn Youngkin, meanwhile, defeated former Democrat Gov. Terry McAuliffe for Virginia’s governor’s seat.

Tuesday’s election also saw 58-year-old furniture truck driver Ed Durr defeat Democratic Senate President Steve Sweeney by 2,000 votes despite Durr’s campaign spending only a few hundred dollars, The Epoch Times reported.“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.”