All five members of the Middletown Township Committee have announced that they are backing Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden in his bid to replace John O. Bennett III as Chairman of the Monmouth County Republican Organization.
Front, Mayor Stephanie Murray and Deputy Mayor Kevin Settembrino. Rear, Committeemen Tony Fiore, Gerry Scharfenberger and Steve Massell. Photo via MiddletownNJ.org
Mayor Stephanie Murray, Deputy Mayor Kevin Settembrino, and Committee Members Gerry Scharfenberger, Stephen Massell and Tony Fiore, all Republicans, issued a statement through Fiore .
“Sheriff Golden will bring a new energy to our Party and make us even stronger in delivering the best and most efficient county and municipal governments in New Jersey to the people of Monmouth County.
“Shaun has demonstrated a commitment to excellence and innovation while improving the performance of the Sheriff’s Office and controlling costs to the taxpayers on both the county and municipal levels. We believe his leadership and executive skills will greatly serve Monmouth County residents in a political capacity as well.
“Shaun will move our party forward and is the best person to heal any fractures that have occurred over the years.
“We appreciate the good job that Chairman Bennett has done during his term, but now, we face new challenges as elected officials and political leaders. We can’t afford to rest on our laurels, but must move forward with fresh eyes and with a renewed commitment to improve our performance for the people we represent and serve.”
Fiore told MMM that the committee members were speaking for themselves, not for the Middletown Republican Organization. Middletown GOP Chairman Peter Carton is aware of their endorsement, but has yet to speak with Golden or Bennett, Fiore said.
With remarkable teamwork on the part of the candidates, county and municipal leaders and key members of the legislative delegation outside of the 13th legislative district, the Monmouth County Republican Organization earned the resounding endorsement of a Republican electorate that has proven over the years that performance and integrity matter far more to them than party loyalty.
Big egos checked, big leaders pulled together to support each other. A real team emerged.
Middletown GOP Chairman Peter Carton sent an email to his fellow municipal chairs and members of the Middletown Republican Committee this afternoon announcing that he is withdrawing as a candidate for State Committee.
Dear Republican Chairpersons of Monmouth County,
I hereby withdraw my name as a candidate to be the Republican State Committeeman for Monmouth County. I believe this is best for our party and County and for the successful election of Governor Christie, Kim, Serena, Tom, Shaun and all legislative candidates. Please let the members of your County Committee know of my decision.
I thank all who called or e mailed to offer support and to volunteer to call all county committee members in my election effort. I greatly appreciated them, had fun talking and corresponding with you and the other chairs and office holders with whom I have already spoken and look forward, as always, to working with all of you in this year’s election effort and after.
Carton’s withdrawal leaves Howell Republican Chairman John Costigan running unopposed for the party endorsement.
Eileen Kean has withdrawn as a candidate for the New Jersey Republican State Committee from Monmouth County, leaving incumbent Committeewoman Christine Hanlon unopposed for the party’s nomination on March 23 in Colts Neck.
In a statement emailed to members of the Monmouth County Republican Committee, Kean called for party unity and then endorsed Howell GOP Chairman John Costigan for the male slot on the committee. Costigan and Middletown GOP Chairman Peter Carton are competing to replace Monmouth GOP Chairman John Bennett on the Republican State Committee.
After much deliberation, I have made the decision to withdraw my name as a candidate for State Committee and support our incumbent State Committeewoman Christine Hanlon for re-election. I believe this is in the best interest of the Monmouth County Republican Party and will continue the unification efforts of Chairman Bennett. I welcome the opportunity to serve and know that there will be future opportunities for me to contribute to the Monmouth County GOP.
I believe our Party is heading in the right direction under the leadership of John Bennett. Personal agendas need to be put aside and unifying the party is paramount. Thank you for your consideration and please join with me in supporting Christine Hanlon for re-election as Monmouth County’s State Committeewoman and John Costigan as Monmouth County’s State Committeeman.
The Committee is comprised on one male and one female from each New Jersey county. The members are elected by Republican voters in the June primary. Primary challenges are rare with the members typically being chosen by the County Committee.
Hanlon and her fellow State Committee Member John Bennett squared off in the race to replace Joe Oxley as Monmouth Republican Chairman last June. Bennett prevailed by 3 votes out of 615 cast. Since then, Hanlon has been the consummate team player. She is an attorney with Archer & Greiner’s Shrewsbury office, serves as the Deputy Municipal Attorney of Tinton Falls, the Atlantic Highlands Prosecutor and a Commissioner of the Monmouth County Board of Elections.