The Monmouth County Democrats held a mini-convention on Saturday in Long Branch to endorse their candidates for Assembly in districts 11,12,13 and 30 for the June 4 primary. The also endorsed primary candidates for Monmouth County Sheriff and and two Freeholder seats.
The Monmouth GOP held their annual nominating convention last Saturday, March 9 at iPlayAmerica in Freehold, where over 400 enthusiastic Republican County Committee members came out to endorse their County and Assembly candidates by acclamation.
For Sheriff the Democrats endorsed Kevin Tuohy, a retired Little Silver Police Lieutenant, to take on Sheriff Shaun Golden. Tuohy is registered to vote in Eatontown.
For Freeholder the Dems endorsed Moira Nelson of Asbury Park, an intimate apparel designer and consultant who lived in Bloomfield, Essex County last year, and Michael Penna, of Long Branch, an actor and special education teacher at the private Collier High School in Marlboro. Nelson and Penna are endorsed to challenge Republican Freeholder Director Tom Arnone and Nick DiRocco, a Wall Township Committeeman.
All of the Monmouth Dems County candidates are from the 11th Legislative District, an indication that the 11th will be the battlefield in Monmouth this year as the Democrats marshal their resources to defend the seats of incumbent Assembly Members Joann Downey and Eric Houghtaling.
NewJerseyGlobe reported that Rakesh Bisaria dropped his challenge to the LD 11 incumbents, leaving them unopposed for the endorsement.
Republicans Matt Woolley, a camera operator for SNY and a former staffer for Assemblyman Sean Kean who lives in Ocean Township, and Michael Amoroso, the President of the Freehold Board of Education, will attempt the win back the LD 11 seats that Houghtaling and Downey won by defeating Mary Pat Angelini and Caroline Casagrande in 2015.
Amoroso will have the top spot on the GOP ballot in LD 11, Sheriff Golden, the Chairman of the Monmouth GOP, said following the convention.
The 11th District is comprised of Allenhurst, Asbury Park, Colts Neck, Deal Eatontown , Freehold Borough, Freehold Township, Interlaken Borough, Loch Arbour Village, Long Branch City, Neptune City, Neptune Township, Ocean Township, Red Bank, Shrewsbury Borough, Shrewsbury Township, Tinton Falls, and West Long Branch.
In the 12th Legislative District, Malini Guha was the top Democrat vote getter in the district on Saturday thanks to the facebook photo MMM posted of her on Wednesday after she and David Lande won the endorsement of the Middlesex County Democrats. Lande, of Millstone, got 24 votes to Guha’s 25. Gene Davis, an Assembly candidate in 2017 and a former Linden (Union County) councilman, only got 5 votes.
Guha is a freelance journalist and a member of the Matawan Environmental Commission. Lande, who ran for State Senate in 2017, is a workman’s comp attorney, a cat rescue activist and a friend of MMM contributor Tommy DeSeno.
The Ocean and Burlington Democrats have yet to endorse their primary candidates for the 12th.
Ron Dancer and Rob Clifton are the Republican incumbents. They have secured the endorsements of Monmouth and Ocean GOPs and are not expected to be challenged in Middlesex or Burlington.
The 12th legislative district includes Old Bridge in Middlesex County; Allentown, Englishtown, Manalapan, Matawan, Millstone, Roosevelt and Upper Freehold in Monmouth County; Jackson and Plumsted in Ocean County; and Chesterfield, New Hanover, North Hanover and Wrightstown in Burlington County.
In the 13th, Allison Tucker Friedman of Aberdeen, a Monmouth County Public Defender and the President of the Matawan-Aberdeen Board of Education, won the Democrats’ endorsement to make her second run for Assembly. She ran in 2013.
Barbara Singer, an attorney and a frequent unsuccessful candidate for the Holmdel Township Committee was also endorsed by the Ds in LD 13. Singer lists her employer as Drazin and Warshaw on her LinkedIn profile. The firm does not list her as one of their attorneys on their website.
Friedman and Singer will take on Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso and Freeholder Gerry Scharfenberger, barring any primary surprises.
The 13th is comprised of Aberdeen , Atlantic Highlands, Fair Haven, Hazlet, Highlands, Holmdel, Keansburg, Keyport, Little Silver, Marlboro, Middletown, Monmouth Beach, Oceanport, Rumson, Sea Bright and Union Beach.
Scharfenberger’s acceptance speech was a call to action for all Republican legislators to step up their fight against the Murphy agenda:
“We may be in the minority but in no way, shape or form, do we have to remain silent. Frankly, I feel that we Republicans can do a much better job of selling our brand to the voters than we have in the past. In fact, can anyone tell me what Republicans stand for in New Jersey outside of “we’re better than the other guys?” If we are ever going to grow our numbers in the legislature and move towards gaining a majority, we have to have solid, understandable solutions to issues that voters care about, and can relate to. We should be speaking to every chamber, veterans group, advocacy group, senior center, environmental group, business association and on to raise our profile and gain support among the voters. The timing could not be better for us to make these kinds of inroads. I cannot remember a time when there has been a starker contrast between Republicans and Democrats. Let’s face it, between the horrendous, bizarre legislation being passed, not only in New Jersey, but by state legislatures across the country, and the buffoonish antics of Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and everyone’s favorite socialist, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez – the Democrats are giving us a ton of ideological ammunition with which to steamroll the opposition in coming elections.”
Scharfenberger’s entire speech, as prepared for delivery, can be viewed here.
Scharfenberger will have the top spot on the ballot in LD 13, according to Golden.
The 30th District, Avon-by-the-Sea, Belmar, Bradley Beach,Brielle, Farmingdale, Howell, Lake Como, Manasquan, Sea Girt, Spring Lake, Spring Lake Heights, and Wall in Monmouth County, as well as Lakewood and Point Pleasant in Ocean County is represented by Republicans Sean Kean and Ned Thomson in the Assembly. Kean and Thomson won the endorsements of the Monmouth and Ocean Republican organizations last week unanimously.
The Monmouth Democrats endorsed Yasin “Jason” Celik, who we can’t find any information about and Steven Farkas of Howell who says he’s a generally nice guy. Farkas is an pulp horror/ sci-fi writer and a former adjunct professor. He is an advocate of single payer healthcare, aka medicare for all, and is an unabashed defender of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Candidates endorsed by a Party will be “on the line” on the June 4 primary ballot, indicating that they have the support of the Party organization.
All partisan candidates for Assembly who wish to appear on the primary ballot, “on the line” and “off the line,” must submit petitions with the Division of Elections in Trenton no later than 4 PM on April 1. Instructions can be found here. Petition forms can be found here.
Candidates for County office must submit their petitions to the Monmouth County Clerk’s Office at 300 Halls Mill Road, Freehold, by 4PM on April 1. Click here for information on filing for County Office.