Boms disavows Frotton’s flyer
Golden affirms his endorsements
In early April the four candidates running for two Republican nominations for Atlantic Highlands Borough Council declared in a facebook group that they would hold a “congenial and productive primary strengthening our Party for 2018 and beyond.” In early May the candidates said that they wanted the primary voters, “not individuals who want to wield control,” to choose the nominees.
The candidates, Penny Hofman-Morris, Richard Colangelo, Brian Boms, and Jim Murphy are all friends. Colangelo and Murphy work together. Boms coaches youth sports with Colangelo and does business him.
Monmouth County Republican Chairman Shaun Golden took notice.
All four candidates are deeply involved in the community and have good reputations. Any two of the four would be good candidates and fine council members. Those who were not nominated this year would be great candidates in the future.
Golden put all four candidates on the “County Line” of the primary ballots to let the voters decide—as the candidates publicly said they wanted.
Yesterday, the peace and party unity was broken by Jane Frotton, the long time local party chair.
Frotton, apparently desperate to retain control, despite the fact that she was spreading the word that she was retiring from local politics, distributed an ugly flyer that accuses Hofman-Morris and Colangelo, as well as former Republican Mayor Fred Rast, of being “fake Republicans.” She said that Hofman-Morris, Colangelo and their County Committee running mates are Rast’s “puppets.”
Frotton went on to accuse Golden, without naming him, of being tricked into granting the “Monmouth County Republican Organization” slogan and ballot position to Hofman-Morris, Colangelo and their team of County Committee candidates by Rast. She said the “Regular Republicans” are the real Republicans who have the County organization’s support.
In an email to MMM, Golden affirmed his County Committee endorsements. “I encourage all Atlantic Highlands Republicans to vote for the Monmouth County Republican Organization County Committee candidates,” Golden said. “They are community oriented people who are committed to rebuilding the Party in the town and supporting our candidates on the County and State levels.”
Boms disavowed the flyer, which endorsed him and Murphy, and condemned the divisive petty small town politics. “Penny, Rich, Jim and I want to unite the party,” Boms said in a phone interview with MMM.
In an email following up the interview, Boms said, “I’m angry . These are not my words and I never approved this. This is not my approved literature. As I have said from the beginning and continue to say. I am running based on my accomplishments, I am not a mud slinger.”
The intra-mural battle in the Atlantic Highlands GOP goes back 2015 when the Atlantic Highlands Republican County Committee was split 4-4 between then Councilman Jack Archibald and Councilman Lou Fligor as the Party nominee for mayor after Rast announced he was honoring his self imposed term limit of 8 years. Frotton, as local chair, broke the tie with her endorsement of Archibald. Golden deferred to Frotton in awarding the County line to Archibald.
With the County line, Archibald beat Fligor in the primary but went on to lose in a landslide to Democrat Rhonda LeGrice. The following year, Frotton refused to endorse Fligor and Jacob Hoffman for reelection to the Council as punishment for Fligor running for mayor in the primary with Hoffman’s support. Fligor was the top vote getter as an Independent in 2016 with Hoffman losing to Republican Stephen Boracchia by 83 votes.
Republicans have lost 4 of 5 contested seats on the governing body since the 2015 split.
The primary is on Tuesday, June 5. Polls are open from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. Districts One and Four voters cast their ballots at the Senior Building, 1 Simon Lake Dr. Voters who live in Districts Two and Three vote at the Charles Heese Parish Center, 55 South Ave.
The Monmouth County Republican Organization endorsed candidates for County Committee are:
In District One: Joseph Freitas, III and Valerie Freitas
In District Two: Jacob Hoffman and Sandra Hoffman
In District Three: Benedict DeMonte and Cynthia Fligor
In District Four: Edward Cetron and Michelle A. “Mickey” Rast