The Monmouth County Democrats will hold a “mini-convention” this evening at the IBEW Local 400 Union Hall in Wall Township to formally nominate their slate of County and Legislative candidates for the June 2 primary.
Jeanne Cullinane is challenging Assembly Members Amy Handlin and Declan O’Scanlon in the 13th legislative district
MMM has learned that Hazlet Board of Education member Tom Herman will be a candidate for Assembly in the 13th legislative district, challenging incumbent Republicans Amy Handlin and Declan O’Scanlon. Joining Herman on the Democratic ticket in the 13th will be Jeanne Cullinane, also of Hazlet, a political newcomer.
Cullinane has recently shared posts on facebook that compared Republicans to Iranian terrorists and Polish people to monkeys.
Monmouth County Chairman Vin Gopal has previously announced on his blog that Neptune Township Zoning Board Member Carol Rizzo will challenge incumbent Republican Freeholder John Curley. There has been speculation that Rizzo was seperated at birth from Rumson Democratic Chairman and former Democratic candidate for Surrogate, Michael Steinhorn.
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Posted: March 23rd, 2015 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 11th Legislative District, 13th Legislative District, 2015 Legislative Races, Monmouth County, Monmouth Democrats, Vin Gopal | Tags: 2015 Elections, Amy Handlin, Carol Rizzo, Christine Hanlon, Declan O'Scanlon, Eric Houghtaling, Jeanne Cullinane, Joann Downey, John Curley, Kevin Kane, Michael Steinhorn, Mini-Convention, Monmouth County Democrats, Monmouth Democrats, Tom Herman, Vin Gopal | 14 Comments »
By popular demand (from Matt Rooney and a Democratic operative who doesn’t want people to know he/she talks to me) your favorite blogger is shifting his focus away from the Sandy Aftermath and back to politics on this election eve.
Rooney said, “Let’s hear your projection, Gallagher.” My response: “The power will be off at my house for the rest of the week.”
Here are my predictions:
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Posted: November 6th, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2012 Congressional Races, 2012 Predictions, 2012 Presidential Politics, 2012 U.S. Senate Race, Elections, Uncategorized | Tags: 2012 Election, Anna Little, Barack Obama, Bill Byrne, Bill Shea, Bob Menendez, Building Our Future Bond Act, Chris Smith, Dominican prostitutes, Dominican Republic, Dr. Solomon Melgen, Frank Pallone, GFE, Harry Reid, Highlands, Joe Kyrillos, John Curley, Kevin Lavan, Kevin Redmond, M. Claire French, Michael Galvin, Michael Steinhorn, Middletown, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, School Board Elections, Serena DiMaso, Tara Ryan | 4 Comments »
Could they possibly endorse Curley and DiMaso for Freeholders too?
The Asbury Park Press has recognised the fine job Republican County Clerk M. Claire French has done over the last ten years and endorsed her for a third five year term.
The Neptune Nudniks got this one right. They dismissed Democratic candidate Michael Steinhorn as someone who “has little to recommend him for the job,” despite the fact that he exposed the statistical anomaly of the Monmouth GOP winning the first general election ballot position in 30 of 33 years and that they like his proposal to that the clerk’s office provide mobile services to seniors and veterans.
Given their logic in endorsing French, it will be fascinating to see how they endorse at least one of the Democratic Freeholder candidates, as I expect they will.
The Democratic Freeholder campaign has been so anemic that I suspect many readers don’t even know who is running. Despite the Monmouth Dems outraising the Monmouth GOP through September, there is little evidence that Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal and his team are trying to get their nominal slate elected. Publicly Democratic leaders say the right things about supporting their candidates. Privately they seem resigned to a Republican blow out.
The Democratic candidates are William Shea and Kevin Lavan. Shea, as Amy Mallet’s running mate, lost to Freeholders Lillian Burry and Gary Rich last year. He is challenging Freeholder Director John Curley for a full three year term. Lavan, who lost his run for Assembly to Declan O’Scanlon and Amy Handlin in the 13th district last year, is running against Freeholder Serena DiMaso for the remaining one year of Rob Clifton’s term. Clifton resigned upon being sworn into the State Assembly.
Shea and Lavan were not even on the same page when the Nudniks interviewed all four candidates in September. Shea recklessly proposed a 20% across the board spending cut from the county budget without backing up how he would do it. Lavan said “maybe” depending upon the results of an audit.
Yet, the Nudniks loath single party control of any governing body (except the federal government when it is in Democratic hands) and has a historical bias against “Club Monmouth” as they frequently call the Monmouth GOP. They seem to forget that all of the Monmouth Republican county office holders and all of Monmouth GOP leadership has been replaced since Operation Bid Rig, except Claire French who they just endorsed. The GOP holds all five seats on the Freeholder Board.
Will the APP editorial board affirm the nudnikness and endorse Shea or Lavan? We’ll find out soon. Either way, it won’t matter on election day. It might matter to their own crediblity if the actually endorse the best people for the job and get over their own biases.
Posted: October 26th, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Asbury Park Press, Freeholder, John Curley, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth Democrats, Monmouth GOP, Neptune Nudniks, Serena DiMaso | Tags: Asbury Park Press, endorsements, Freeholder Director John Curley, Freeholder Serena DiMaso, John Curley, Kevin Lavan, Michael Steinhorn, Monmouth County Clerk, Monmouth Democrats, Monmouth GOP, Neptune Nudniks, Serena DiMaso, Vin Gopal, William Shea | 1 Comment »
The Democratic candidate for County Clerk got a boost of sorts today from the
Asbury Park Press.
Michael Steinhorn is making an issue out of the fact that the Monmouth GOP won the first ballot position in 30 of the last 33 general elections and that a Republican Clerk was responsible for all thirty drawings. There is apparently nothing else to write about in the Clerk’s race, because the APP gave Steinhorn free space and an inflammatory headline, Are the Monmouth Republicans cheating?
Ballot positions are chosen in public when two capsules, pictures of which on here on APP, one with the word “Republican” and the other with the word “Democrat,” are put into a box, shaken up and Bertha Sumick, the Deputy County Clerk in charge of elections picks one. 30 times out of the last 33, the Republican capsule was chosen. APP quotes two mathematics professors saying that the odds of the happening are 1.5 million to one. Steinhorn speculates that the capsules have been marked somehow to feel different from each other.
Theoretically, the winning ballot position should be shared 50-50 on a valid random drawing. Just to test the theory, I flipped a coin 33 times. It came up heads 22 times and tails 11 times.
County Clerk M. Claire French insists the annual drawings are above board. She noted that when the Democrats held the office of County Clerk in 1978 and 1979, that the Democrats won the first ballot position in each of those years.
Posted: October 8th, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Monmouth County | Tags: Bertha Sumick, M. Claire French, Michael Steinhorn | 18 Comments »
Image credit: "Paula Priesse," clearglassproductions.com
While Republicans are settling in after their trip to Tampa for the Republican National Convention, Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal launched the first salvo of the county race for two freeholder seats and county clerk with a column posted on Patch sites throughout Monmouth, before he heads of to Charlotte for the Democratic National Convention.
Gopal blasts Freeholder Lillian Burry, her former campaign treasurer, John Cantalupo, and the mythical “Club Monmouth” for the Brookdale Community College scandal.
Gopal’s column did not mention the Republican candidates, Freeholders John Curley and Serena DiMaso and County Clerk M. Claire French, that he says that Monmouth County taxpayers should unite against. Nor did he mention his Democratic challengers, Kevin Lavan and Bill Shea for freeholder and Michael Steinhorn for county clerk.
Oddly, the Monmouth Democrats website, which has been redesigned since Gopal became chairman, makes no mention of his county candidates. Their facebook page also makes no mention of the county Democratic team. Both websites feature Gopal prominently.
Pretty funny coming from a guy who blasted Governor Christie’s keynote address at the GOP convention as “all about him” to NJ.com:
Vin Gopal, the Monmouth County Democratic Party chairman, took a dimmer view of Christie’s moment in the national spotlight.
“The governor sang a tune that is not at all what is really happening. He’s a Republican governor in a Democratic state, and he’s doing a horrible job,” said Gopal, of Long Branch, citing New Jersey’s high unemployment and property tax rates. “He beat an incumbent Democratic governor in 2009 who was incredibly unpopular – here in Monmouth County, Jon Corzine said two weeks before the election that he wanted to raise tolls for the third time. Whoever the Democratic gubernatorial nominee is in 2013, the 700,000 registered Democratic voter advantage in this state, and the 20,000 registered Democratic voter edge in this county, is going to haunt Gov. Christie.”
“Christie’s speech was all about him,” added Gopal. “I don’t know how his message could have connected well with a lot of people. We are working to build up our base of teachers, police officers, firefighters and other public service workers here in Monmouth, as well as other Democratic constituency groups, that will turn out in 2013.”
Gopal says that Monmouth County taxpayers should unite against Club Monmouth, yet despite his overwhelming victory in the Democratic Chairman’s race, he does not seem to be uniting his party behind their own candidates.
Posted: September 2nd, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Monmouth Democrats | Tags: Bill Shea, Chris Christie, John Curley, Kevin Lavan, M. Claire French, Michael Steinhorn, Serena DiMaso, Vin Gopal | 13 Comments »
Monmouth GOP Team reports $83,000 cash on to hand
The Monmouth Democratic Party’s second quarter campaign finance report, due July 15th, has not been posted on the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission’s website as of this afternoon. Dem Chairman Vin Gopal told MMM that the report was filed with ELEC, along with the report designating him as the new chairman, on July 10th. Gopal said he would contact ELEC resolve the problem.
At the end of the first quarter, the Monmouth Dems had $6,305.14 cash on hand and was $78,025 in debt. Over $60K of the debt was owed to then County Chairman Victor Scudiery. Gopal said that the second quarter report “was pretty much the same, less than $10,000 on hand.”
The Democratic county candidates, Kevin Lavan and Bill Shea for Freeholder and Michael Steinhorn for Clerk, have $64.14 between them as of their post-primary reports. Lavan and Steinhorn each told ELEC that they were not raising or spending money for the primary race. Shea raised over $20K, but spent all but $64.14 in the uncontested primary.
The Monmouth GOP appears to be in better shape. The GOP committee reported $34,790.31 in cash as of June 30th. In their post-primary reports, Freeholder Director John Curley reported $22,554.81 in cash; Freeholder Serena DiMaso reported $11,401.19 and County Clerk Claire French reported $14,673.21.
Monmouth County Republican Chairman John O. Bennett III has instructed all county and state elected officials, with the exception of this year’s candidates, to suspend raising money as of August 1 so as to not compete with his fundraising activities for the coming county campaign. Bennett promised Curley, DiMaso and French that he would raise the funds necessary for the fall campaign.
Posted: July 23rd, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Campaign Contributions, Campaign Finance, ELEC, Elections, Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth Democrats, Monmouth GOP | Tags: Bill Shea, John Bennett, John Curley, Kevin Lavan, M. Claire French, Michael Steinhorn, Serena DiMaso, Vic Scudiery, Vin Gopal | 2 Comments »
Former Monmouth Democratic Chairman Victor Scudiery
Former Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Victor Scudiery told MMM that he thinks his party’s nominees for freeholder and county surrogate should resign their candidacies and let the new Chairman, Vin Gopal, and the Democratic County Committee select new candidates.
The freeholder candidates, former Hazlet Mayor Kevin Lavan and former State Trooper William Shea, along with surrogate nominee Michael Steinhorn, all supported Gopal’s opponent, Marlboro Council President Frank LaRocca, in last month’s Chairman’s race. Gopal won the chairmanship with over 70% of the vote, over 80% excluding Marlboro.
“I don’t know why they did that (took a position in the Chairman’s race),” said Scudiery, “LaRocca must have promised them something. I don’t see how the rank and file supports them now.”
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Posted: July 3rd, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth Democrats | Tags: Amy Mallet, Frank LaRocca, Kathy Horgan, Kevin Lavan, Michael Steinhorn, Monmouth Democrats, Rebecca Aaronson, Rebecca Kane, Sharon Lee, Victor Scudiery, Vin Gopal, William Shea | 19 Comments »
Democratic Monmouth County Clerk candidate Michael Steinhorn told MMM that he has not heard from Vin Gopal, the new Democratic County Chairman, since Tuesday night’s convention. “I’m waiting anxiously for my running mates and I to be summoned so that Mr. Gopal can show us how to win,” said the Rumson Democrat, “I hope he doesn’t wait until two months before election day and then say he really doesn’t have enough time.”
Steinhorn, along with Democratic Freeholder candidates Bill Shea and Kevin Lavan, openly supported Gopal’s opponent, Marlboro Council President Frank LaRocca for Democratic Chairman. “I wish my running mates had staid out of the race, but after they endorsed Frank I felt like I was between LaRocca and a hard place,” Steinhorn quipped, “I didn’t want to split the ticket. I felt to was important that the three of us stay united for fundraising and the campaign.”
When asked if he has spoken to the members of his county slate, Gopal declined to comment.
Posted: June 14th, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Monmouth Democrats | Tags: Bill Shea, Frank LaRocca, Kevin Lavan, Michael Steinhorn, Vin Gopal | 6 Comments »
Based upon the voting results of the two Monmouth County political conventions that occurred on Tuesday evening, it would appear that the Monmouth Democratic Organization is united and the Monmouth Republican Organization is divided.
Vin Gopal’s margin of victory in the Democratic Chairman’s race was 73%-27%. John Bennett scored a 50.24%-49.75% victory in the Republican race.
Both parties had extraordinarily high turnouts with over 600 committee members voting. For a county party that has had no electoral success in recent years, the record turnout for the Democrats was an impressive showing.
But all is not rosy for the Democrats. Among Gopal’s minority opponents are his 3 county level candidates, Michael Steinhorn running for County Clerk and Freeholder candidates Bill Shea and Kevin Lavan. Gopal, Steinhorn, Shea and Lavan were all general election candidates last year. Gopal was an Assembly candidate in the 11th district. Steinhorn and Shea were county level candidates, and Lavan was an Assembly candidate in the 13th district. The divide is reportedly over Gopal’s relative (they all lost) success. He raised more money, got more press and came closer to winning than Steinhorn, Shea and Lavan did in 2011.
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Posted: June 14th, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth Democrats, Monmouth GOP | Tags: Bill Shea, Christine Hanlon, Jennifer Beck, John Bennett, Kevin Lavan, Lillian Burry, Michael Steinhorn, Monmouth Democrats, Monmouth Republicans, Unity, Vin Gopal | 73 Comments »
The Monmouth County Democrats are holding their nominating convention on Thursday, March 22 at the Bayshore Senior Center, 6:30 PM.
Michael Steinhorn of Rumson is the only candidate who has filed to run for County Clerk. He is expected to be nominated to run against Republican incumbent M.Claire French. Steinhorn was the nominee for County Surrogate last year.
Former State Trooper Bill Shea, a candidate last year, and former Hazlet Mayor Kevin Lavan, a candidate for Assembly last year from the 13th district , will be freeholder candidates.
There are two freeholder seats up this year; a full term that is being defended by incumbent Republican Freeholder Director John Curley and an unexpired term that will be defended by Freeholder Serena DiMaso. DiMaso was elected by the Monmouth Republican Committee to fill the vacancy created by Rob Clifton’s election to the State Assembly.
The Democrats have yet to determine which seats Shea and Lavan will challenge.
Former Freeholder Amy Mallet has not ruled out re-seeking the office that she lost last November. Asked repeatedly by MMM if she was going to make an run for freeholder either at the convention or in the primary, Mallet said, “no, not at this time,” and “I am not running as of now.” Asked to give a definitive answer, she declined.
Two candidates have thrown their hats into the ring for the nomination to take on Congressman Chris Smith in the 4th congressional district. Former Monmouth County Surrogate Patricia Bennett, now an elder law attorney in Red Bank and Spring Lake businessman Brian Froelich will compete for the Democratic endorsement on Thrusday night.
Froelich has a website and says he’s filed with the FEC to be a candidate. He would not rule out a primary challenge should he lose to Bennett on Thursday, saying, “I intend to win at the convention and have not thought beyond that.”
Bennett could not be reach for comment.
Posted: March 20th, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2012 Congressional Races, Chris Smith, Congress, Democrats, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth Democrats | Tags: Amy Mallet, Assemblyman Rob Clifton, Bayshore Senior Center, Bill Shea, Candidates, Chris Smith, County Clerk, Freeholder candidates, Freeholder Director John Curley, Freeholder Serena DiMaso, John Curley, Kevin Lavan, M. Claire French, Michael Steinhorn, Monmouth County Clerk, Monmouth County Democrats, Rob Clifton, Serena DiMaso | 17 Comments »