Gopal, Doherty and Nelson make Gannett’s ‘Other” List
Brian Nelson. Asbury Park Press Photo
In addition to the list of twelve ‘rising stars’ that Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande made on Sunday, Gannett published a list of 15 ‘up and comers’ to keep an eye on that includes three Monmouth players.
Democrats Vin Gopal, the 27 year old county chairman and Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty, 39 made the list. Noticeably absent among Democrats were Marlboro Mayor Jonathon Hornik and Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long.
Gopal, from West Long Branch, ran for Assembly in the 11th District in 2011 before being elected county chairman in 2012. It remains to be seen if the Monmouth Democratic party will become more competitive under Gopal’s leadership, but there is no question that he is developing a statewide portfolio of influence with his early support of Barbara Buono for the 2013 gubernatorial nomination, his non-stop fundraising schedule for candidates statewide and savvy media presence. Gopal has ties to both Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Congressman Frank Pallone. How he navigates the anticipated 2014 battle between Booker and Pallone for the U.S. Senate nomination will be fascinating to watch. MMM predicts that he will be seen as a supporter of the winner and an ally of the loser.
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Posted: April 23rd, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth Rising Stars | Tags: Brian Nelson, Caroline Casagrande, Chris Smith, Dina Long, Frank Pallone, Jon Hornik, Matt Doherty, Monmouth Rising Stars, Sean Kean, Steve Corodemus, Vin Gopal | 5 Comments »
Hornik, D’Amico and Mallet will team up to target the “safe” Republican district
Hazlet-April 1 Monmouth County Democrats spent the holiday weekend scrambling to collect petition signatures for a new slate of candidates for State Senate and General Assembly in the 13th Legislative District, according to a Democrat who does not want to be known for speaking to a Republican blogger. Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik will be the Senate candidate. Former freeholders John D’Amico and Amy Mallet will be the Assembly candidates.
Petitions are due in Trenton today.
Barbara Buono, the presumed Democratic nominee for governor, Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Shelia Oliver each called the new candidates to promise amble funds to wage the general election race, even if the incumbents prevail in the GOP primary.
Chairman Vin Gopal believes the 13th district will be in play should the expected Bayshore Tea Party Group backed slate led by former congressional candidate Leigh-Ann Bellew for Senate win the Republican primary against incumbent Senator Joe Kyrillos and Assembly members Amy Handlin and Declan O’Scanlon. The BTPG will announce the rest of their slate, as well as the freeholder and sheriff candidate, this afternoon after their petitions are filed.
“The Tea Party has beat the Monmouth Republican line every time they’ve tried,” said the source, “Anna Little beat the GOP organization twice and David Corsi did it in 2010. We’re betting they will do it again. In a race where the Republican candidates are running an anti-abortion, pro-gun campaign, we believe the district will vote for proven vote getters like Mayor Hornik, Judge D’Amico and Freeholder Mallet.”
The candidates nominated at the Monmouth Democratic Convention in February, Rutgers Professor Sean Dunne for Senate, and Assembly candidates Matthew Morehead, a dog groomer and Allison Friedman, a public defender, have agreed to resign their candidacies and not file their petitions.
“Having a strong legislative team will help Barbara Buono. There is no way Governor Christie carries Monmouth County by the margins he did in 2009 if he has Tea Party running mates in the 13th. We’ll be forcing Christie to spend time and money in Monmouth he would not have had to with Kyrillos, Handlin and O’Scanlon on his ticket.”
Posted: April 1st, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2013 Election, April Fools, Humour | Tags: Amy Handlin, Amy Mallet, April Fools, Barbara Buono, Bayshore Tea Party, Declan O'Scanlon, Joe Kyrillos, John D'Amico, Jon Hornik, Shelia Oliver, Steve Sweeney, Vin Gopal | 9 Comments »
The hopes of Middlesex and Monmouth County mayors, freeholders and legislators hoping to move to Washington in early 2015 as the newly elected representive of the 6th Congressional district were set back a bit this morning by a new FDU Public Mind Poll that shows Newark Mayor Cory Booker dominating the Democratic field to replace Senator Frank Lautenberg.
Congressman Frank Pallone has been considered Booker’s main competition for the 2014 Democratic U.S. Senate nomination among the media and political establishment. However, 12th District Congressman Rush Holt has almost twice the support among self identified Democrats than Pallone does, according the FDU survey.
FDU surveyed its respondents cable news viewing habits, polling the trustworthiness of CNN, FoxNews and MSNBC. Given Holt’s surprising showing, they should have surveyed how many of their respondents are Jeopardy fans. Holt is famous for being a five time Jeopardy winner and beating IBM’s supercomputer, “Watson,” on the TV trivia game show.
Booker leads the Democratic U.S. Senate field with 50% support. Pallone got only 4% and Holt 7%. 32% of the respondents are unsure and are probably Wheel of Fortune fans.
Frank Pallone aged 30 years
Unless Booker becomes incapacitated running into fire, shoveling snow, or leaping a tall building in a single bound, Pallone is likely to remain in the House of Representatives until he’s Launtenberg’s age.
Monmouth Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal, Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik, former Edison Mayor Jun Choi and Carteret Mayor Dan Reiman best hopes for becoming a congressman is if Gerald Rivera manages to beat Booker next year in the general election and then Pallone beating Rivera in 2020. But that is not much of a hope, as FDU says Booker will beat Geraldo 52%-21%.
Posted: March 13th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2014 U.S. Senate race, Cory Booker, FDU Public Mind Poll, Frank Lautenberg, Frank Pallone, Geraldo Rivera, Pallone, Rush Holt | Tags: Cory Booker, Dan Reiman, FDU Public Mind Poll, Frank Pallone, Geraldo Rivera, Jon Hornik, Jun Choi, Rush Holt, Vin Gopal | 2 Comments »
New Jersey’s senior U.S. Senator, Frank Lautenberg, will not seek reelection when his term expires in 2014.
The Star Ledger broke the story with a statement from the senator:
“I am not announcing the end of anything. I am announcing the beginning of a two-year mission to pass new gun safety laws, protect children from toxic chemicals and create more opportunities for working families in New Jersey,” Lautenberg told The Star-Ledger. “While I may not be seeking re-election, there is plenty of work to do before the end of this term and I’m going to keep fighting as hard as ever for the people of New Jersey in the U.S. Senate.”
Lautenberg will be 91 when his term expires. Recent independent poll have indicated that New Jersey voters favor Newark Mayor Cory Booker heading to the Senate.
Congressman Frank Pallone is said to be ready to challenge Booker for the Democratic nomination in 2014. State Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver have also indicated interest in the Democratic nomination.
Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik said he will not be a candidate.
TV and radio personality Geraldo Rivera is the only Republican who has publically expressed an interest in competing for the Senate seat. State Senators Tom Kean, JR, and Joe Kyrillos have been mentioned as possible candidates, as has Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick, Lt. Governor Kim Guadango, and bio-tech executive/Navy Intelligence Officer John Crowley. New Jersey has not had a Republican in the U.S. Senate since 1974.
In a statement issued to the media, Governor Chris Christie said, “Frank Lautenberg and I have had our differences through the years, but I’ve always respected him for his tenacity, devotion to the people of New Jersey and his love for and commitment to public service. I will always be grateful for his doggedness in fighting with me and the delegation to ensure congressional passage of an aid package after Hurricane Sandy that is delivering necessary assistance to our residents. I wish him the best in his retirement.”
Posted: February 14th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2014 U.S. Senate race, Frank Lautenberg | Tags: Chris Christie, Cory Booker, Frank Lautenberg, Frank Pallone, Geraldo Rivera, Joe Kyrillos, John Crowley, Jon Bramnick, Jon Hornik, Kim Guadagno, Sheila Oliver, Steve Sweeney, Tom Kean JR | 5 Comments »
The New Jersey Local Finance Board (LFB), a part of the Department of Community Affairs found fault in the Marlboro Ethic Board’s (MTEB) investigation into conflict of interest charges file against Councilwoman Randi Marder. LBF remanded the matter back to MTEB for ”additional investigation and application of the appropriate legal standard.”
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Posted: February 6th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Marlboro | Tags: Coucilwoman Randi Marder, DCA, Department of Community Affairs, Frank LaRocca, Jon Hornik, Local Finance Board, Marlboro, Marlboro Ethics Board, Marlboro Township, Thomas H Neff | No Comments »
Monmouth County’s newest Demcratic office holder, Marlboro Councilwoman Carol Mazzola, is not ready to join Mayor Jon Hormik on the Barbara Buono for Governor bandwagon.
“I don’t know anything about her, ” Mazzola said in a phone interview, echoing the sentiments of 82% of New Jersey voters polled by Quinnipiac.
“I love Chris Christie!’ Mazzola exclaimed when asked what she thought about the Governor. But she stopped short of endorsing the New Jersey head of her former party. “Ask me in the fall when its time to make a decision.”
Mazzola was elected to the Marlboro Township Committee as a Republican in 2009. She announced earlier this month that she will run for reelection as a Democrat on Hornik’s team.
Posted: January 29th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2013 Gubernatorial Politics, Barbara Buono, Chris Christie, Jon Hornik, Marlboro | Tags: Barbara Buono, Carol Mazzola, Chris Christie, Jon Hornik, Marlboro, Marlboro NJ | 4 Comments »
Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik joined the growing list of New Jersey Democrats in lining up behind State Senator Barbara Buono as the party’s nominee to take on Governor Chris Christie this fall.
In a statement released to MoreMonmouthMusings, Honik said that Buono is ready to lead for New Jersey’s middle class and that she is the best candidate to get our economy moving and creating jobs.
“Senator Buono understands the principle challenge facing New Jersey is a need for good-paying jobs. It’s a failure of the Governor when nearly one of every 10 New Jerseyans is out of work.
“There is no comeback when one in 10 is left behind. I know Senator Buono is prepared to make job creation her first priority.
“Senator Buono and I also share the same concern for protecting all of our residents, but in particular our children from gun violence. I applaud her call for a special session of the Legislature to pass common-sense gun safety laws.”
Posted: January 29th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2013 Gubernatorial Politics, Jon Hornik, Monmouth Democrats | Tags: Barbara Buono, Chris Christie, Jon Hornik, Marlboro | 4 Comments »
Mayor Jon Hornik was present at the meeting
Carol Mazzola, right, with Selika Josiah Gore and Kim Guadagno during their 2009 campaign. facebook photo
Marlboro Councilwoman Carol Mazzola met with Monmouth County Republican Chairman John Bennett prior to announcing her to run for reelection as a Democrat this fall. Mayor Jon Hornik was present at the meeting which took place in Freehold.
Mazzola told MoreMonmouthMusings that she met with Bennett out of respect for the chairman for whom she has great admiration. She said that Bennett attempted to pursuade her not to switch partys, but that her mind was already made up.
The councilwoman, who is seeking her second term on the Marlboro Council, said she’s been struggling with the decision for many months. “In the end, I know I made the right decision for myself and for the citizens of Marlboro,” she said, “win lose or draw, I know I did the right thing.”
Bennett has not returned MMM’s call for comment.
Posted: January 17th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: John Bennett, Jon Hornik, Marlboro, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth Democrats, Monmouth GOP | Tags: "LaHornicca", Carol Mazzola, Democrat, John Bennett, Jon Hornik, Kim Guadagno, Marlboro Democrats, Republican, Selika Josiah Gore | No Comments »
Former Republican joins the Democratic Party. Says Local Democrats Put People First
Marlboro Councilwoman Carol Mazzola has joined the Democratic Party and will seek reelection this fall as a member of her new party, Muncipal Chairman and Council President Frank LaRocca announced today.
“Mayor Jon Hornik and Chairman LaRocca are doing phenomenal jobs,” Mazzola said. “It’s always people first with their team; not politics first. The Council is doing an excellent job and I feel very comfortable being part of their team. They have the best interests of Marlboro at heart.”
Mazzola is the second Republican to switch parties and join Mayor Jonathon Hornik’s and LaRocca’s team since they were first elected in 2007. Coucilman Jeff Cantor, a former Republican Freeholder candidate, became a member of the Marlboro Democratic team in 2009.
Marlboro GOP Co-Muncipal Chair Selika Joshiah Gore said she was saddened by Mazzola’s decision.
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Posted: January 16th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Marlboro | Tags: Carol Mazzola, Frank LaRocca, John Bennett, Jon Hornik, Monmouth Democrats, Selika Josiah Gore, Vin Gopal | 9 Comments »
Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal went all in for State Senator Barbara Buono as the Democratic candidate for Governor.
Following multiple news stories yesterday that the Monmouth Dems would “unofficially” endorse Buono pending the outcome of the party’s convention, Gopal released his endorsement today including the names of 75 Monmouth County Democratic Municipal Chairs, party leaders, elected officials and former elected officials.
“I am pleased that over 40 municipal leaders will join me in supporting the candidacy of Barbara Buono as the next Governor of New Jersey,” Gopal said. “She has the guts, the independence, the courage and the will to take on Chris Christie toe to toe on every single issue. As the 4th largest county in the state with over 100,000 registered Democrats, we look forward to aggressively supporting Senator Buono for Governor. This past election cycle, we defeated eight Republican incumbents here in Monmouth County and not a single Democrat was defeated anywhere in the county. We look forward to building on that this November with Barbara Buono at the top of the ticket.”
Notably missing from Gopal’s pro-Buono list are Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik, Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty and Red Bank Mayor Pat Menna, three of Monmouth County’s most prominent Democrats.
“Its January, said Hornik, “the filing deadline is not until April. While I am fond of Senator Buono, I would like to see who else is running. I don’t feel personally compelled to endorse anyone so early.
“I understand what the Chairman (Gopal) is doing. I have great respect for him, but it is too early for me to be endorsing a gubernatorial candidate.”
Menna was surprised by Gopal’s announcement when reached by MoreMonmouthMusings, “I haven’t seen the letter. It’s still early in the race. Some are still surprised that Booker (Newark Mayor Cory Booker) didn’t run and Codey (State Senator and former Acting Governor Richard Codey) is looking like he might run.”
Doherty, who is running for reelection in Belmar this fall has a new bff in Governor Christie. Christie and Doherty has been public in their admiration for the jobs they are doing in rebuilding post-Superstorm Sandy. “I don’t have any comment about that,” said the normally forthcoming Doherty when asked about Gopal’s efforts on behalf of Buono.
Posted: January 15th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2013 Gubernatorial Politics, Barbara Buono, Monmouth Democrats, Vin Gopal | Tags: Barbara Buono, Jon Hornik, Matt Doherty, Monmouth Democrats, Pat Menna, Richard Codey, Vin Gopal | 2 Comments »