Their nominating convention is on Saturday, but the Monmouth County Democrats are still searching for candidates to run for the legislature and sheriff. Today’s “soft deadline” for candidates to come forward could be extended beyond the convention. Chairman Vin Gopal’s quest to be the first county party to officially annoint Senator Barbara Buono with the gubernatorial nomination will end up being a self-inflicted wound if he doesn’t have a full slate to announce on Saturday afternoon.
With the official deadline for candidates to file their petitions not until April 1 and with Buono the only serious candidate for governor (there are two other announced candidates, former Glen Ridge Governor Carl Bergmanson and union carpenter Willie Araujo of Edison), Gopal’s decision to hold his convention a month earlier than normal looks silly.
According to our source who doesn’t want to be known for talking to a Republican blogger, Holmdel attorney Lawrence Luttrell will join Spring Lake businessman Brian Froelich on the Democratic ticket for freeholder. Luttrell ran unsuccessfully for township committee in Holmdel last year. Froelich ran against Congressman Chris Smith in the 4th district. Froelich and Luttrell will face off against Freeholder Director Tom Arnone and Deputy Director Serena DiMaso.
In the 13th legislative district, Sean Dunne will challenge Joe Kyrillos for Senate (assuming Kyrillos runs…he hasn’t announced yet). Dunne grew up in Holmdel and moved to Ireland for 10 years before moving back and running for Assembly as an Independent in 2009. The Dems are still looking for candidates to take on Amy Handlin and Declan O’Scanlon for the Assembly seats.
In the 11th legislative district, as previously reported, there will be contested convention races to take on Republican incumbents Mary Pat Angelini and Caroline Casagrande for Assembly. No one wants to run against Senator Jennifer Beck, but Gopal will convince one of the Assembly also rans to take one for the team. Npetune Township Committee Members Dr. Michael Brantly and Kevin McMillion will compete with Red Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich and Long Branch teachers union leader Will Potter for the Democrat Assembly nominations.
In the 30th district, Dr. William Field, Phd will run against Senator Robert Singer. Field ran for mayor of Howell last year. So far no one is challenging Dave Rible or Sean Kean for Assembly in the 30th.
The Monmouth Dems will leave the 12th district nominations to compete with Senator Sam Thompson and Assemblymen Ronald Dancer and Rob Clifton up to the Burlington, Middlesex and Ocean county organizations.