The 2014 Monmouth County election is in the books.
After the most intense campaign in memory funded by out of county Democrats, Monmouth Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal has nothing but IOUs to show for his duplicitous efforts.
There are literally hundreds of winners in this campaign county wide. From candidates making their first bid for elected office, to the seasoned pros defending their records, to the selfless volunteers who knocked on doors and made over 50,000 phone calls to voters. We congratulate the entire Monmouth Republican team.
On every championship team there are stars who get the accolades on behalf of the entire team. Here are five special mentions from this hard fought victory:
The top Winners of the Battle for Monmouth:
Lillian G. Burry. Burry has been elected county-wide 4 times. Three of those four elections were hard fought. None had the benefit of up ballot coattails. In 2005 she prevailed despite the anti-Republican sentiment generated by Operation Bid Rig. In 2008, Burry prevailed as the top vote getter over the Obama wave that saw an unprecedented Democratic turnout. The low turnout race of 2011 was relatively easy. In the campaign that just concluded, Burry’s integrity was maliciously maligned by Gopal and his henchmen armed with hundreds of thousands of Democratic money wheeled into the county from Trenton, Essex, Hudson, Union and Middlesex counties.
Burry stood tall and fought hard. She is a proven winner, in politics and life. A role model for women and men, Burry embraces the toughest challenges and prevails with honor.
Shaun Golden. Already a rising star after his huge reelection victory as Monmouth County Sheriff in 2013, Golden risked his career in taking on Chairman John Bennett last spring in-order to lead beyond the status quo .
Bennett boasted of his fundraising prowess in his campaign to retain the Chairmanship, but left Golden with an overdrawn check book on June 10.
Undaunted, Bennett’s turd was just another challenge for Golden to overcome.
Shaun has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in the face of adversity by doing what he said he would do. He assembled a strong team by appointing an unprecedented four Regional Vice Chairs. He empowered municipal Party leaders and candidates, expanded the Party’s demographic diversity, established a strong social media presence and fed the rank and file when they came out to work. He raised money and got the job done without wasteful spending. When all the money is counted the Democrats will have outspent the Republicans 3 or 4 to 1.
If the hapless NJGOP is ever to gain traction in the State, it will take a leader like Shaun Golden to make it happen.
Photo courtesy of Geraldo.com. Used with permission
Had the late Senator Frank Lautenberg lived to complete his term, Geraldo Rivera might have been the Republican nominee to be New Jersey’s junior member of the United States Senate. Cory Booker would still be mayor of Newark and the two celebrities would have been engaged now in an expensive high profile race with national implications.
In early 2013, Rivera was very publicly exploring the possibility of running for Launtenberg’s seat. Booker had just declined to challenge Governor Chris Christie’s reelection bid and announced that he would run for Lautenberg’s seat. Booker’s announcement came before the ailing Lautenberg’s announcement that he would not seek another term.
Lautenberg’s June 2013 death and Christie’s call for an October Special Election to fill the seat scuttled the plans of the television and radio personality/journalist to enter politics on a national level. He was not able to rearrange his life or gain support of his family in the short time required to compete in an August GOP primary.
What might have been a high profile exciting battle between Rivera and Booker this fall is now reduced to bragging rights as to which man will raise more money for his respective Party in Monmouth County. Monmouth County Republican Chairman Shaun Golden will announce this afternoon that Rivera is the keynote speaker at the GOP Fundraising Gala on October 15 at the Navesink Country Club. Rivera’s office and Golden both confirmed that Geraldo is coming.
Monmouth County’s new Republican County Chairman Shaun Golden announced his leadership team this afternoon in an email to GOP County Committee Members.
Golden’s Regional Vice Chairs are Mary DeSarno of Wall Township, Christine Hanlon of Ocean Township, Tony Fiore of Middletown and Rob Nicastro of Howell.
The Diversity Council, which is still in formation, is Chaired by Juan Malave of Howell. John Costigan of Howell is the liaison to the NJGOP.
Ron Gravino is the Treasurer. Wayne Pomanowski is the Sgt-At-Arms and John Lane is the Parliamentarian. Tom Szymanski is the Executive Director.
Golden invited all County Committee Members and volunteers to attend a 2014 Campaign Kickoff on Saturday, June 28, 10am and Party Headquarters, 2 Monmouth Ave, Unit B3 in Freehold. A light breakfast will be served.
Monmouth County Shaun Golden has been elected Chairman of the Monmouth County Republican Committee.
Golden defeated incumbent Chairman John Bennett 335 votes to 282.
UPDATED: June 11, 2014
There was brief confusion when County Clerk Claire French presented the results to Bennett. Bennett misunderstood the results and thought he had won. He and his daughters started to celebrate but were quickly corrected. Bennett then announced that Golden was the new County Republican Chairman and left the room with his family.
Golden thanked the convention and promised to conduct his new office with dignity and honor.
Unaware that MMM already had published the vote count, Golden declined to release the results to The Asbury Park Press, saying he would release them today.
Golden did not announce his choice of Vice Chair. Rather, he will announce a leadership council and a diversity team to reach out to ethnic groups that traditionally do not vote Republican before the week is out. Members of the leadership team will serve as “co-vice chairs” with one of them holding the title as a formality.
Golden is retaining Executive Director Tom Symanski’s employment with the Party. “Tom has done a good job and we worked well together on the campaign last year,” Golden said this morning, ” we’ll give him more direction and support going forward.”
Howell GOP Municipal Chairman Juan Malave and Monmouth GOP State Committeeman John Costigan celebrate Malave’s election.
Monmouth County Republican State Committeeman John Costigan, the GOP Municipal Chairman of Howell Township for six years, and Vice Chair under the late Noreen Kelly for six years before that, convened the reorganizational meeting of the Howell Republican Committee this evening and promptly placed the name of former Councilman Juan Malave into nomination as the new Municipal Chairman.
Costigan lost his County Committee seat in last Tuesday’s primary. The incumbent slate of Council Members, supported by Malave, beat back a primary challenge from a slate believed to be backed by Costigan. Costigan denied backing the challengers but said he was glad they were running.
Many Republicans throughout Monmouth County were expecting Costigan to attempt to retain his Chairmanship, despite losing his seat. But the State Committeeman chose to bow out in a gracious gesture of unity by nominating Malave.
On June 10, 2014 at 7pm, at iPlay America in Freehold Township we will come together to decide who will serve as our next Monmouth Republican Chairman. I thank you for all of your support throughout this campaign and I humbly ask for your vote at our Monmouth Republican Convention.
Over the past month, I have shared my positive vision for the future of our Party in Monmouth County. As an organization, we must be the leaders in innovation, technology, outreach and communication. We must boldly meet our challenges with the commitment to never rest on our laurels and never stop sharing our message of conservative values, fiscal responsibility and ethical leadership.
All but one Monmouth County elected official above the municipal level (Legislators and County Officials) have stayed out of the Monmouth County GOP Chairman’s race between incumbent John Bennett and Sheriff Shaun Golden.
Arnone said that he is endorsing Golden because, “I have been a witness to his abilities on the campaign trail and I am keenly aware of what he has done for our party without bragging about it while other attempt to take credit for Shaun’s hard work.”
In an apparent jab at Bennett’s campaign management and fundraising accomplishments, Arnone implied that Golden is responsible for much of the Monmouth GOP’s success over the last two years.
It is truly a pleasure to see the Republican County Committee so energized heading into tomorrow’s County Convention. Two years ago I ran on a platform of instituting new by-laws which would include a return the County Convention system for candidate selection. Now, the County Committee selects our candidates, not a select few in the back room. I also pledged to implement a new, regional Board of Directors, and to open our campaign headquarters full time to run professional campaigns on a county and local level. These promises were made, and these promises were kept.
I believe as candidates, we are charged with the responsibility to give you, the County Committee Members, as much information on our platforms as possible. I also believe this is best delivered in person, where the candidates can be asked the hard questions. This is why I have repeatedly requested that Sheriff Golden agree to a debate. Unfortunately, to date I have not received a response from the Sheriff. I am issuing a final call to Sheriff Golden to meet me at the convention hall tomorrow a half hour early, at 6:30PM, so that we can debate by fielding questions from YOU, the County Committee, about the issues facing our Party. You deserve nothing less.
Bennett dismisses the opinion, says the Local Finance Board should decide
By Art Gallagher
At his breakfast meet and greet gatherings in Freehold and Neptune, Sheriff Shaun Golden said the he had consulted “large law firms, much bigger than any firm here in Monmouth County,” about the “fabricated conflict” of a Sheriff serving as a County Party Chairman raised by Chairman John Bennett and Municipal Chairs Steve McEnery of Manalapan and Anthony Graziano of Freehold Township.
Golden said, “there is no conflict.” He said in Freehold he would show the letter to anyone who wanted to see it. In Neptune he said he would “publish it if need be.”
I told Shaun I wanted to see the letter and that I wanted to publish it. Here it is.
STRONG SUPPORT HEADING INTO THE WEEKEND – THANK YOU
Dear County Committee Members:
Many thanks to all the folks who came out to the kick off to the summer event at Bar A Wednesday night! With 250+ supporters in attendance, we had a great time connecting, networking and enjoying each other’s company!
As we approach the final days of this campaign, I want you to know that I appreciate all of your support. All corners of the County, towns large and small, have endorsed my candidacy and more importantly, embraced my vision for the future of our Party. From Wall to Keyport, Howell to Ocean, Spring Lake and Avon to Holmdel and Middletown, Party leaders know that I have the experience, enthusiasm and energy to lead our Party through the challenges we face ahead. The most recent endorsement, from Marlboro municipal chairman Chris Dean, is included below.
My campaign has been focused upon positive ideas and initiatives. My opponent pledged to run a positive campaign, yet he and his supporters continue their false and negative attacks. I will not respond in kind, but it is important for you, the county committee members to know that there is no legal or ethical bar to my serving as Chairman. Our state’s courts have directly addressed the issue and there are numerous precedents of elected officials on the local, county and state level who hold the position of political party chairman. Many outstanding elected officials on both sides of the isle serve or have served as County Chairmen, including Senator Sam Thompson, Senator Kevin O’Toole, Assemblyman Scott Rumana. Even our own Senator Joe Kyrillos served as State Republican Party Chairman while a Senator.
I would be happy to speak with you more about my ideas and vision for our Party at any time. You can reach me at 732-904-2946 or at email@example.com. Please remember to mark your calendars for I-Play America in Freehold, June 10th, doors open at 6pm. I wish you a great weekend with your families and friends.
MARLBORO REPUBLICAN MUNICIPAL CHAIR SUPPORTS GOLDEN FOR COUNTY CHAIR
Municipal Chair, Christopher Dean issues Statement of Support for Shaun Golden for County Chairman
I take nothing away from the work that John Bennett has done as County Chair for the last two years, but I must join with countless Chairs and elected officials across Monmouth County in pledging my support for Shaun Golden. Read the rest of this entry »