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 »
Former Monmouth County Prosecutor John Kaye, currently the President of the Monmouth County Affiliated Republican Club, wrote to the Republican County Committee members today to warn that Vin Gopal, the County Democrats and the press, will use Sheriff Shaun Golden’s “dual offices” as a campaign issue in the event he becomes Chairman. Here’s a copy of Kaye’s letter.
Just as important as what John has done, is what he has not done – and that’s gift wrap a campaign issue for Vin Gopal and the County Democrats to beat us all over the head with. Unfortunately, I am concerned that is exactly what electing Shaun Golden to the dual offices of County Sheriff and County Republican Chairman will do.
Chairman Bennett called me on the day Golden announced he was running for Chairman and asked if I was going to “be fair with him this time.” He felt my coverage of the 2012 Chairman’s race when I endorsed his opponent was unfair. I told him I would be and I believe I have been. Earlier this week I sat down separately with John and his daughter, Meghan Bennett Clark. They both acknowledged that MMM’s coverage of the Chairman’s race has been fair.
So, if fairness, I have to say, the argument Kaye raises today in his letter to the County Committee is the same argument I raised against John Bennett being Chairman two years ago. I argued that the Democrats and the press would have a field day with Bennett. I argued that they would use Bennett’s record, pension and multiple public jobs to beat Monmouth County Republicans over the head. It would be Club Monmouth all over again.
I was wrong. It didn’t happen.
I don’t think it will happen this time either. But if it does, both Bennett and Golden could both be vulnerable.