It’s become a winter tradition that Monmouth County Republicans can mark their calendars by. Shaun Golden’s annual Starry Night Celebration is on the last Friday of January followed by the Monmouth GOP’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner two weeks later.
The atmosphere was electric on Friday night in Freehold where over 500 enthusiastic Republicans gathered at Southgate Manor for the annual celebration of America’s first Republican president and the annual kickoff of signature gathering for candidates’ petitions.
New Jersey’s sole remaining Republican in Congress, Rep Chris Smith, received a spontaneous standing ovation when Golden noted his arrival from a Friday voting session in Washington. Smith in turn acknowledged the strong Monmouth Republican team that held back the blue wave that swept the rest of New Jersey in last fall’s election and specifically congratulated Golden, not for politics, but for outstanding government. The Sheriff was honored in Washington last year, Smith noted, for leading the best 911 call center in the country.
Bill Palatucci, New Jersey’s representative on the Republican National Committee was present and delivered high praise for the Monmouth GOP and Golden. “When I saw the results come in on election night last November, Monmouth County stood out as a lone bright spot,” Palatucci said. “I called Shaun and thanked him for doing what is supposed to be done. When I talk to Republican leaders around New Jersey about what needs to be done, I tell them to call Shaun Golden to find out what’s working.”
Golden announced that the annual Monmouth GOP nominating convention will be held on March 9 at iPlayAmerica in Freehold Township. Accordingly, nominating petitions were being circulated and candidates for Freeholder and Assembly were working the room. Freeholder Gerry Scharfenberger and Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso were circulating a joint petition for LD 13.
Wall Township Committeeman Nick DiRocco seems to be emerging as the leading candidate for Scharfenberger’s seat on the Board of Chosen Freeholders. Wall Mayor Keven Orender, DiRocco’s running mate in Wall three years ago, told MMM that he supports DiRocco for Freeholder and that he plans to run for reelection to the Township Committee