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William F. Dowd, Longtime Monmouth GOP Chair, Dies at 74

William F. Dowd, 1943-2018

Bill Dowd, the longtime Monmouth Republican Chairman and a former State Assemblyman passed away on Saturday night.  He was 74 years old.

NewJerseyGlobe was the first to report Dowd’s passing.

Born on November 11, 1943 in Long Branch, Dowd graduated from Seton Hall University in 1966 and earned his law degree from Rutgers in 1970. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: April 22nd, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County News, Monmouth County Politics, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Vin Gopal’s Losing Formula

Gopal’s only political play is to attack the integrity of the candidates he’s running against, regardless of the veracity of the attack.

Vin Gopal trampoline

Vin Gopal is setting himself up for another fall. photo via facebook

By Art Gallagher

In the aftermath of Red Bank Council President Art Murphy announcing on MoreMonmouthMusings that he would resign his seat on the borough council and withdraw as a candidate for another term, Monmouth Demcoratic Chairman Vin Gopal complained to the Asbury Park Press and The Two River Times that he has a hard time recruiting candidates to run for office because of the toxic political environment.

From APP:

“I think it (Murphy’s resignation) is part of a larger problem, and he’s been thinking about it for a while,” Gopal said. “It’s about how negative and nasty local campaigns have been getting.”

From Two River Times:

Gopal however, said Murphy’s decision was not solely in response to the video. “It’s part of a larger problem with contemporary politics,” Gopal said, alleging that political opponents had on the sly recorded Murphy, unbeknownst to the councilman and released it for political gain.

“It’s sad it’s come to this,” Gopal said, noting that these tactics increasingly have been making it difficult to get qualified candidates.”

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Posted: August 10th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County News, Opinion, Vin Gopal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Geraldo Rivera to headline Monmouth GOP Fundraiser

Photo courtesy of Geraldo.com. Used with permission

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.

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Posted: September 5th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Congressional Races, 2014 Elections, 2016 Presidential Politics, 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, Cory Booker, Frank Pallone, Geraldo Rivera, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth Democrats, Monmouth GOP, Shaun Golden | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Monmouth Democrats Are Off And Running

Monmouth GOP has its pants on the ground

Larry Luttrell and Joe Grillo. Photo via facebook

Larry Luttrell and Joe Grillo. Photo via facebook

Their nominating convention is not until March 22 at the IBEW Local 400 union hall in Wall Township, but Monmouth County Democratic freeholder candidates Larry Luttrell and Joe Grillo are off and running full speed ahead.

Luttrell, the Holmdel attorney who came in last against Freeholders Tom Arnone and Serena DiMaso, as well as his running mate Brian Froelich, after being endorsed by the Asbury Park Press last year, announced he was running again almost immediately after his sad showing.

Grillo is the former Executive Director of the Monmouth Democrats and the municipal chairman of the Asbury Park Democrats. Like Luttrell, he has never held elected office. Grillo was briefly a candidate for the Asbury Park City Council last year, withdrawing from the race prior to the filing deadline. Since leaving his position as ED of the Monmouth Dems, Grillo has worked for his family’s tile company in Howell.

Grillo stepped up his game over the weekend with a fundraising email blast that announced his candidacy.  He raised $6,200 online through Sunday. A Democrat who does not want to be known for talking to a Republican leaning site told MMM that Grillo has raised over $20,000 for his campaign including checks collected offline. His stated goal is to raise $50,000 by the June 3rd primary.

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Posted: March 10th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Elections, Monmouth County, Monmouth Democrats, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

McKenna Convicted Of DWI

Ed McKenna, Red Bank Green photo

Ed McKenna, Red Bank Green photo

Monmouth County roads will be a little safer for the next seven months.

Former Red Bank Mayor Ed McKenna, a Democrat, was convicted of driving while intoxicated last week in Tinton Falls Municipal Court.   He received a seven month suspension to his drivers license and a $764 fine.

McKenna was arrested by a New Jersey State Trooper on May 13, 2013 after being involved in a one car accident at mile marker 108 of the Garden State Parkway. He scored nearly three times the legal limit in a breathalyzer test.

Monmouth County Republican Chairman John Bennett did not issue a statement accusing all Democrats of being drunks who are unfit for office.  Bennett’s restraint stands in stark contrast to that of his Democratic counterpart, young Vin Gopal.  Gopal, 28, accused “local and County Republican politicians” of being corrupt last week after former Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas was indicted for allegedly fraudulent acts to secure the purchase of a farm.

Posted: February 11th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Andrew Lucas, John Bennett, Monmouth Democrats, Monmouth GOP, Red Bank, Tinton Falls, Vin Gopal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Bayshore Tea Party Wants Bennett To Change The By-Laws

Still won’t reveal their primary candidates names

Bayshore Tea Party co-founder Bob Gordon told MoreMonmouthMusings that he would recommend that the groups’s candidates for the Legislature from the 13th district, sheriff and freeholder not file as candidates in the June 4 Republican primary if GOP Chairman John Bennett would allow the candidates onto the March 23 County Convention ballot without having to submit the signatures required under the new by-laws to challenge incumbents.  He would not guarantee that the so far unnamed challengers would abide by the results of the convention and not file for the primary if they lose in Colts Neck on the 23rd. “That would be up to the candidates,” he said.

Gordan said that county committee members inclined to support the Tea Party challengers are reluctant to sign convention petitions for fear that they will be challenged in the next committee election in 2014.

The deadline to submit petitions for the convention ballot passed last week.  Primary petitions are due on April 1.

Neither Gordon nor fellow co-founder Barbara Gonzalez would name the potential challengers.  Gordon said that there is a full slate of candidates to take on Senator Joe Kyrillos and Assembly Members Amy Handlin and Declan O’Scanlon in the 13th district. On the county level, Sheriff Shaun Golden faces a challenge while Freeholder Director Tom Arnone and Deputy Director Serena DiMaso may only have one challenger, if the candidates file.

Posted: March 12th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election, Amy Handlin, Barbara Gonzalez, Bayshore Tea Party Group, Declan O'Scanlon, Joe Kyrillos, John Bennett, Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth GOP, Shaun Golden | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »


Monmouth Dems Outraise Monmouth GOP

In their first quarters as party chairmen, Democrat Vin Gopal bested Republican John Bennett in the fundraising battle by over $10,000.

According to their reports filed with the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission, the Monmouth County Democrats raised $38,647.50. and spent $28,096.01.  The Democrats started the quarter with only $957 in cash. As of September 30th they had $11,509.

The Monmouth GOP ended the quarter with almost $2,000 less cash than it had when Bennett was elected.  The GOP reported raising $28,296 and spending $30,284.  Former Chairman Joe Oxley left Bennett with $34,790.  Of the $28K  Bennett raised, $6000 was donated by the Election Fund of Assemblyman Dave Rible and $3000 was donated by Senator Jennifer Beck’s campaign account.

Gopal’s large donors were Local Union 400 IBEW ($3500), the Middletown Democrats ($1850), Plumbers and Pipe fitters Local Union #9 ($1000) and the Uliano Law Firm of West Long Branch ($1500).

Gopal raised $20,710 in contributions of $300 or less.  Bennett raised $9,802 in donations of $300 or less.

“The Monmouth County Democrats are organizing at a grassroots level because residents across the county are beginning to realize there is a very clear difference between the two political parties,” said Gopal,   “At our convention last June, we had a turnout of over 90% of our county committee with hundreds of new county committee members entering the political process, many of them first time contributors to our party,”

” With party standard bearers like Barack Obama, Bob Menendez and Frank Pallone, people see that we are building and we are organizing.  The Monmouth County Democratic Party is fighting for middle-class taxpayers, fighting for small business owners and working to protect our environment.  There is a clear difference between the two county parties and our messages and people across the county are beginning to recognize these differences.”

Bennett did not return a call for comment.

Posted: October 24th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: John Bennett, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth Democrats, Monmouth GOP, Vin Gopal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Do we need Jimmy Carter to monitor Monmouth County elections?

The editorial board of the Asbury Park Press Neptune Nudniks want the State Attorney General’s office to monitor the ballot positioning draw for Monmouth County elections until such time as the legislature takes the chance out of ballot positioning.

Even though they acknowledge that there is no way to prove their allegations, the Nudniks are basically accusing Monmouth and Essex County Clerks, and the Monmouth GOP and Essex Democrats by inference, of fraud because the results of ballot positioning draws have defied statistical probability by huge margins over the past few decades.

Ballot drawings should be watched. But the Attorney General or Jimmy Carter don’t have to do the watching.  The APP should send a reporter and write about the process.

One reason this matters, the Nudniks and the “experts” they refer to say is because voters who are uninformed about candidates will vote for candiates in the first ballot position.  It seems to me that “voters” who are uninformed about the candidates stay home.  They APP could impact this problem by doing a better job covering candidates and campaigns.

Posted: October 9th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Asbury Park Press, Neptune Nudniks | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

An Open Letter of Thanks

From the Desk of Christine Giordano Hanlon, Monmouth Republican State Committeewoman

Dear Monmouth County Committee Members and Fellow Republicans:

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of my supporters who stood behind me in my candidacy for Monmouth Republican Chair.  Your support has meant a great deal to me and I will be eternally grateful.

 I would also like to reiterate my congratulations to our new County Chairman, John Bennett.  I wish him well in his Chairmanship.

We must now come together to focus on that which is most important – continuing to work toward the election of Republicans at every level of government.  As Abraham Lincoln once said, “a house divided cannot stand.”   Monmouth Republicans cannot be a house divided.  

We have many challenges ahead.  We must work together to elect our local and county candidates, and to send Republicans toWashington so that we can begin moving our nation back in the right direction. Monmouth County will play a critical role in the election of Mitt Romney and Joe Kyrillos, and must set the standard for the rest of the State.  I look forward to working with all of you in the future to accomplish these goals.

Respectfully,

Christine G. Hanlon

Posted: June 18th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Christine Hanlon, John Bennett, Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , | 8 Comments »

Party Unity

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: | Filed under: Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth Democrats, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 73 Comments »