Belmar, April 1- Mayor Matt Doherty will withdraw as a candidate for Monmouth County Freeholder and resign as mayor of the borough to become Deputy Mayor of Jersey City, according to a confidential memo obtained by MoreMonmouthMusings.
For years, Doherty has declined to run for Freeholder because, like his friend Governor Chris Christie, he prefers to be #1 rather than one of group. He agreed to Monmouth Democrat Chairman Vin Gopal’s plea that he run this year because he needs a quick exit from Belmar where he knows the gimmicks and tricks he has employed as mayor will blow up next year and cause massive tax hikes. Doherty calculated that this would be the year for him to win on a county level because Hillary Clinton, he thinks, do very well with Monmouth County voters and he will benefit from her pant suit tails.
But after marching in St Patrick’s Parades every weekend in March, Doherty realized he is not as well known or popular throughout Monmouth County as he thought. “Don’t these people watch MSNBC?” Doherty was heard complaining after the Keyport parade,”Nobody knows me here. The only votes I’m going to get on the bayshore are firemen and relatives of that Vechhio guy,” a reference to the Freeholders decision to pass over Anthony Vecchio in favor of Kevin Stout to be Monmouth County Fire Marshall, and Vecchio’s efforts to exact retribution at the ballot box in November.
Knowing that his long term ambitions of being Governor or a U.S. Senator would be set back by an impending loss to Freeholder Director Tom Arnone and Deputy Director Serena DiMaso (who were cheered loudly at all of the St. Patrick’s parades) Doherty and his wife, political strategist Maggie Moran, hatched a plan to position Matt to become mayor of Jersey City after Steve Fulop is elected governor in 2017.
Doherty will join the Fulop administration in June as a Special Assistant to the Mayor where he will work with former Governor Jim McGreevey in running the day to day operations of the city and the Mayor’s Office while Fulop steps up his gubernatorial campaign. McGreevey will train Doherty to take over after Fulop is sworn in as Governor and be a senior advisor to Doherty’s campaign to be elected Jersey City mayor.
Doherty and Moran are looking for townhouses in Fulop’s neighborhood.
Gopal has prevailed on Doherty to run in the primary and continue to hold $500 per head fundraisers until he can find a new freeholder candidate.