In Mount Holly's first partisan election in recent history, two Democrats endorsed by the party organization handily won nomination to run for two available seats on the township council, besting a maverick after a nasty political fight.

The winners were Jules Thiessen, who had served on the five-member council for 16 years, including several terms as mayor, and Brian Grant, who is chairman of the planning board and a member of the school board. Tim Young, the vice president of the school board, lost.

Voters last November approved changing the elections from nonpartisan. During a campaign waged mostly with competing Facebook pages and websites, several accusations were leveled.

The Republican primary was uncontested, but the local party chairwoman, Cynthia Regn, said the two candidates on the ballot had not been endorsed. They are Janet DiFolco, the Republican mayor's wife, and Patricia Cauley. Regn said the newly organized party committee would later choose the candidates it will support in November. - Jan Hefler