Democrats Mum On Schlossbach’s Replacement

Monmouth County Democrats have shrouded the selection of an Assembly candidate to replace Marilyn Schlossbach in the 11th legislative district in more secrecy than a Koch Brothers convention.

They won’t even say where and when the convention to vote on a candidate will be.  Campaign Manager Vlad Gutman said the convention will be “on Wednesday, somewhere in the district.” 

MMM has learned that the convention will be Wednesday, 6:30PM at the Asbury Park VFW.

Democratic County Committee members from the district are being called and urged to attend the convention which requires, under Title 19, a quorum of 50% plus 1 of the committee members in order to select a candidate.  While they are scrambling to get a quorum, the Democrats are also scrambling to find a candidate.  No mention of potential candidates is being made on the calls to the committee members and no one will say who is under consideration or who has thrown their hat into the ring.

Schlossbach’s withdrawal was a big blow to the Democrats’ slim hopes of picking up Assembly seats in Monmouth County.  An internal Democratic poll indicated that Schlossbach had the highest name recognition of all Assembly candidates, including incumbents Mary Pat Angelini and Caroline Casagrande.  While Schlossbach’s name recognition was superior, the poll indicated that the Republican team of Senator Jennifer Beck, Angelini and Casagrande are heavy favorites to win in November.  Beck’s name recognition and favorables in the district are huge.

Despite a voter registration advantage in the district, the Democrats have a very thin bench.  Elected officials like Red Bank Councilman Michael Dupont, Long Branch Councilman John Pallone (brother of the congressman), Neptune Township Deputy Mayor Randy Bishop and Eatontown Mayor Gerald Tarantolo all declined to run for the legislature back in April when the slate of Ray Santiago for Senate, Schlossbach and Vin Gopal for Assembly, all seeking their first elected office, was chosen by the party.  Now that the summer fund raising season has past and polling has been done, the district looks less winnable for Democrats than it did it April, making it less likely that an experienced politico with a base will step up to replace Schlossbach.

Also complicating the Democrats task of finding an Assembly candidate, Santiago and Gopal have made support of gay marriage a central theme of their campaign.  If marriage equality is a litmus test, finding a new candidate will be even more difficult.

Fund raising will be difficult whoever the Democrats nominate, with the possible exception of John Pallone who could tab his brother’s special interest supporters.  Beck is dominating the fund raising race in the district by both raising money for her team and discouraging donors from contributing to her opponents.  Beck called Cory Booker this week to express her displeasure over the fact that the Newark Mayor is headlining a fundraiser for Gopal later this month in Colts Neck.

The Democrats will probably come up with a nominee, if they get a quorum at the convention.  Whoever it is will be taking one for the team and will probably get a new job or appointment some time in the next year.

Posted: September 10th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

11 Comments on “Democrats Mum On Schlossbach’s Replacement”

  1. Fred Lehlbach said at 10:34 am on September 10th, 2011:

    Michael Panter’s name has been floated.

  2. Anonymous said at 10:36 am on September 10th, 2011:

    Panter would make the ticket consistent on Gay Marriage, if you know what I mean.

  3. Freespeaker1976 said at 10:59 am on September 10th, 2011:

    Interesting to note in this article is that the Democrats have a convention, which is one of the reasons why County Committee people actually exist, as I understand it.

    Where as the Republicans do not operate this way. We have to abide by “Uncle Joe’s” Executive Committee.

  4. ArtGallagher said at 11:07 am on September 10th, 2011:

    @ Freespeaker1976:


    A convention is required by Title 19 in this circumstance, just as a Republican convention will be required to select a Freeholder should Rob Clifton be elected to the Assembly.

    Chairman Oxley’s Executive Committee is pretty similar in inclusiveness as Chairman Scudiery’s Democratic “mini-conventions” that are held at nominating time in the spring.

  5. ArtGallagher said at 11:09 am on September 10th, 2011:

    @ Fred. Panter’s name has been floated. Word on the street is that he is not interested.

  6. Freespeaker1976 said at 2:28 pm on September 10th, 2011:


    a) Thanks for the info

    b) Your welcome for me picking at that scab

    c) I will add in order to dig a little further

    The Democrats DO have bylaws up on the Monmouth County Website…

    Gee Joe, where ARE those bylaws you promised us when you were re-elected as chairman? 🙂

  7. if those said at 1:55 pm on September 11th, 2011:

    who venerate the county committeemembers so much would explain to me what, if anything, MOST of them do all year, to advance the party’s cause,(either side), register a voter, put up a sign, give a buck, ANYthing, then perhaps you continual whining about wanting a vote at a conventiononce or twice a year, would have more credence.. see ya in Jan., those who will care enough to recall they even are an elected c.c. member, and actually show up to cast their desired vote, that day!.. again, it’s a LEADERSHIP position, (especially so for the often lax Munic. Chairs!), not just names who’ve been cajoled into filling a slate, that counts.. maybe if being on c.c paid, more sincere people would come forward and participate?..I’ve always said: please don’t get talked into it, if you fully intend to DO NOTHING!..honestly, why should you be included in selecting candidates, if that’s your performance record?

  8. Freespeaker1976 said at 9:58 am on September 12th, 2011:

    If Those…

    I will grant you there are a TON of worthless County Committee people.

    Nonetheless, there are also a TON of them that want a say in who our candidates should be.

    What you are saying is that because there are lazy place holders, others that care should not have a say.

    That’s as wrong as those that do nothing. You can’t put the sins of the bad people on the shoulders of the good worker bees.

  9. Freespeaker1976 said at 12:53 pm on September 12th, 2011:

    Rumor has it, though unconfirmed is that Randy Bishop is interested in the spot, AGAIN

  10. Randy's a nice guy, said at 1:22 pm on September 13th, 2011:

    but will be surprised if he will put himself out again , in a year that is currently projected to be more R-friendly, all over.. let’s see if the Weiner seat in NY goes R tonight( we know there’s much voter fraud up tere in the past), that may gauge some allover voter sentiment, at this juncture..

  11. one can show said at 1:29 pm on September 13th, 2011:

    that one is a “good” c.c. member, in many more ways than by just showing up for a yearly vote- one can also be sure their municipal chairperson does their job, and really seeks out/polls their membership, before THEY go cast a vote at a screening: any town chair unable to vote has always had the option of sending their vice-chair, or another proxy, if they notify of such a situation..it’s the c.c’s that go un-represented by their own chair, that gives no voice to the town, and to me, is unforgivable- it’s then up to the town’s “worker-bees”who do care, to elect a chair who works it, and truly represents the consensus/ majority of their town’s (filled)c.c. seats,when the necessity arises..