When Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal promised retribution and accused Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long of abandoning her principals by endorsing Governor Chris Christie for reelection, Long said, “Whether Vin likes it or not, I’m still a Democrat.”
Now she’s not a Democrat. Long quietly changed her registration to Unaffiliated in February. The Asbury Park Press was the first to report Long’s new status.
“I did this quietly and without fanfare,” Long told MMM, “to talk about why I did it would defeat the purpose.” Prodded, Long said, “its a long story, no pun intended.”
Political insiders in Sea Bright have been aware of Long’s new status for a few weeks. One insider said that something happened in the county Democratic Party that Long considered personally hurtful.
When the Bridgegate story broke in January, Long told MMM that she was angry that some suggested she would revoke her endorsement of Christie.
“No, and I’m angry that some are tossing by name around as if I’m waffling about my endorsement,” Long said when we asked her if she regretted endorsing Christie in light of the Bridgegate scandal. “Bridgegate is terrible, but it does not undue the Sandy recovery. My endorsement was based on the Sandy recovery. Let’s wait and see what happens when all the facts come out. Right now it’s a feeding frenzy.”
Long’s term ends in 2015. She said she has not yet considered whether she would seek a second term.
Gopal told The Asbury Park Press that he thinks Long is focused on Sea Bright and not county, state or national issues. He said he had great respect for Long and the job she is doing.