Dr. Dale Whilden, President of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Assoc, Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, Sen Jennifer Beck, Gov Chris Christie, Congressman Chris Smith and Neptune Mayor Dr. Michael Brantley cut the ribbon of Ocean Grove’s rebuilt boardwalk
After being twice denied funding from FEMA before finally getting $2.4 million on their second appeal, the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association re-opened their boardwalk to the public today with a ceremonial ribbon cutting lead by Governor Chris Christie, Congressman Chris Smith, Senator Jennifer Beck, Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, Neptune Township Mayor Dr. Michael Brantley and Dr. Dale C. Whilden, President of the OGCMA.
“Today is truly a great day for Ocean Grove, Neptune Township, Monmouth County, and the Jersey Shore, and a critical step forward in our recovery from Sandy,” said Smith.”This boardwalk is an integral part of Ocean Grove the neighboring Jersey Shore community, a fact we reinforced during our efforts to reverse FEMA’s original decision at the local level—and yet another at the regional level—to deny critical funding.”
Their nominating convention is on Saturday, but the Monmouth County Democrats are still searching for candidates to run for the legislature and sheriff. Today’s “soft deadline” for candidates to come forward could be extended beyond the convention. Chairman Vin Gopal’s quest to be the first county party to officially annoint Senator Barbara Buono with the gubernatorial nomination will end up being a self-inflicted wound if he doesn’t have a full slate to announce on Saturday afternoon.
With the official deadline for candidates to file their petitions not until April 1 and with Buono the only serious candidate for governor (there are two other announced candidates, former Glen Ridge Governor Carl Bergmanson and union carpenter Willie Araujo of Edison), Gopal’s decision to hold his convention a month earlier than normal looks silly.
Monmouth Democrats are expecting a contested convention race for the nominations for Assembly in the 11th Legislative District.
Three of the five members of the Neptune Township Committee, Dr. Michael Brantley, J. Randy Bishop, and Kevin B. McMillian have expressed their interest in competing for the nominations for the two seats, according to a Democrat who asked not to be named because he/she was talking to a Republican blogger. Red Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich will also seek a nomination, according to PoltickerNJ.
Republicans Mary Pat Angelini of Ocean Township and Caroline Casagrande of Colts Neck currently represent the district in Assembly.
The district is comprised of the Monmouth County municipalities of Allenhurst, Asbury Park, Colts Neck, Deal, Eatontown, Freehold Borough, Freehold Township, Interlaken, Loch Arbour, Long Branch, Neptune, Neptune Township, Ocean Township, Red Bank, Shrewsbury Borough, Shrewsbury Township, Tinton Falls, West Long Branch .
Monmouth Demcratic Chairman Vin Gopal will probably have to do some arm twisting to come up with a candidate to challenge Senator Jennifer Beck of Red Bank, according to the source. The Republican Beck is pro-choice and pro-gay marriage. She is very popular with Democrats in the district. No one is currently interested in challenging her.