Howell Councilman Bob Walsh, a candidate for one of two available nominations for freeholder at the Monmouth Republican Convention on March 22, said that the Monmouth Republican Party’s brand has been tarnished by the Burke Farm deal with Andrew Lucas and by the Brookdale Community College scandal that resulted in former Brookdale President’s Peter Burnham’s conviction for official misconduct and theft.
Incumbent freeholders, Director Lillian Burry and Deputy Director Gary Rich are seeking to be nominated for reelection at the convention.
Speaking on the record, Walsh said that many “neutral people, people who know nothing” that he encounters think that the Lucas farm deal and the Brookdale scandal are examples of Republican corruption. Walsh said that he talks to these people and tries to correct their perception, “but it is out there and a lot of people think that way, it’s a common thread.”
Walsh was very careful not to speak negatively about Burry and Rich specifically while discussing his own candidacy. “I don’t consider that I am challenging them,” he said, “I am seeking an office according to the rules. No one is elected forever. People complain and complain about government, yet keep electing the same people. That’s what’s wrong with this country.”
“People say that government should be run as a business. I have a very good record in business, as a licensed banker, and a very good record as mayor of Howell that I am proud of. I think I am an asset and will be an asset to the freeholder board. I have energy, passion and the flexibility to do the job.”
While not specifically accusing anyone of complacency, Walsh said that his candidacy and his service, if elected, would be a battle against complacency in county government.
“Complacency has no place if public service,” he said, “I am very pleased with some of the things I see happening since I started running.” He declined to elaborate.
Walsh said he expected that this November’s election will be more contentious that usual.