Monmouth County Clerk M. Clair French address the Monmouth GOP convention. Chairman Shaun Golden in background. photo by Art Gallagher
An impressive crowd of over 400 Monmouth Republican County Committee members gathered on Saturday morning to nominate their candidates for State Assembly, County Clerk and Freeholder. The size of the crowd was impressive not only because of the weather but because the results of the convention were a foregone conclusion as there were no challengers to the incumbent Assembly Members, Freeholder or Governor Chris Christie’s nominee for County Clerk.
Free of any competitive tensions, the mood at Colts Neck High School was upbeat, friendly and proud among the grassroots leaders who came out for Chairman Shaun Golden first nominating convention. Freeholder Deputy Director Serena DiMaso noted both the size and enthusiasm of the crowd. “This crowd is almost as large as last year’s convention when we had a competition for the freeholder nominations,” DiMaso said, “We’re in really great shape and that is a testament to Shaun’s leadership.”
Monmouth County Clerk M. Claire French will retire in March.
French told MMM in a phone interview that she will decide by the end of this week whether her retirement will be effective on March 1 or March 31.
Appointed to fill the vacancy created by Jane Clayton’s retirement in 1997, French was elected to four 5 year terms. Had she completed her current term she would have served the residents of Monmouth County through the end of 2017.
French, 77, started her career in public service as a member of the Wall Township Committee where she served two terms as Mayor. She has held either elected or appointed office for 35 years serving as at every level of New Jersey government. French was the first Chair of the Monmouth County Improvement Authority, was Vice Chair of the Local Finance Board and has served on various regional authorities. She is a Eucharistic Minister at Holy Innocents Church in Neptune City.
Ever the optimist and desperate for relevancy, Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal is floating his name as a candidate for Assembly in 11th District.
The district’s Assembly seats are currently held by Mary Pat Angelini and Caroline Casagrande. Gopal and Red Bank Councilwoman Kathy Horgan lost to Angelini and Casagrande by over 3000 votes (out of 37,093 cast) in 2011. Former Democratic Assemblyman Dan Jacobson, publisher of the triCityNews and AsburyParkSun earned 2358 votes as an Independent candidate that year.
MoreMonmouthMusings hereby endorses Gopal for one of the Democratic Assembly nominations in the 11th.
We were worried that 2015 would be a boring year politically in Monmouth County and that we’d have to start covering restaurant openings to keep our traffic up next year. With Gopal on the ballot, MMM’s political focus would be assured for another year.
Another reason we like Gopal as a candidate for Assembly is that it takes an issue of the table for Sheriff Shaun Golden’s reelection in 2016.
Congressman Frank Pallone issued the following statement regarding the St. Louis County, Missouri Grand Jury’s decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown:
“The St. Louis County Grand Jury’s decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson is a failure of our justice system. The principle of ‘Equal Justice under Law’ must apply to all Americans. My thoughts and prayers are with Michael Brown’s family, especially his parents, who have endured such unimaginable pain and hardship over these past few months.”
Pallone’s statement is disgraceful and beneath his office. He did not sit on the Grand Jury and hear the evidence.
Monmouth County GOP Chairman Shaun Golden, Middlesex County GOP Chairman Sam Thompson and the New Jersey Republican Congressional Caucus members should start recruiting a candidate to defeat Pallone in 2016 and start raising money for that campaign immediately.
Pallone is a radical liberal extremist who does not represent the people of the 6th Congressional District. He can be defeated and he should be defeated. Defeating him will take a will, a plan and money. It can be done and it should be done.
The 2014 Monmouth County election is in the books.
After the most intense campaign in memory funded by out of county Democrats, Monmouth Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal has nothing but IOUs to show for his duplicitous efforts.
There are literally hundreds of winners in this campaign county wide. From candidates making their first bid for elected office, to the seasoned pros defending their records, to the selfless volunteers who knocked on doors and made over 50,000 phone calls to voters. We congratulate the entire Monmouth Republican team.
On every championship team there are stars who get the accolades on behalf of the entire team. Here are five special mentions from this hard fought victory:
The top Winners of the Battle for Monmouth:
Lillian G. Burry. Burry has been elected county-wide 4 times. Three of those four elections were hard fought. None had the benefit of up ballot coattails. In 2005 she prevailed despite the anti-Republican sentiment generated by Operation Bid Rig. In 2008, Burry prevailed as the top vote getter over the Obama wave that saw an unprecedented Democratic turnout. The low turnout race of 2011 was relatively easy. In the campaign that just concluded, Burry’s integrity was maliciously maligned by Gopal and his henchmen armed with hundreds of thousands of Democratic money wheeled into the county from Trenton, Essex, Hudson, Union and Middlesex counties.
Burry stood tall and fought hard. She is a proven winner, in politics and life. A role model for women and men, Burry embraces the toughest challenges and prevails with honor.
Shaun Golden. Already a rising star after his huge reelection victory as Monmouth County Sheriff in 2013, Golden risked his career in taking on Chairman John Bennett last spring in-order to lead beyond the status quo .
Bennett boasted of his fundraising prowess in his campaign to retain the Chairmanship, but left Golden with an overdrawn check book on June 10.
Undaunted, Bennett’s turd was just another challenge for Golden to overcome.
Shaun has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in the face of adversity by doing what he said he would do. He assembled a strong team by appointing an unprecedented four Regional Vice Chairs. He empowered municipal Party leaders and candidates, expanded the Party’s demographic diversity, established a strong social media presence and fed the rank and file when they came out to work. He raised money and got the job done without wasteful spending. When all the money is counted the Democrats will have outspent the Republicans 3 or 4 to 1.
If the hapless NJGOP is ever to gain traction in the State, it will take a leader like Shaun Golden to make it happen.
These men want to turn Monmouth County into South Essex County. CD-4 Candidate Ruben Scolavino, Larry Luttrell, Senator Cory Booker, Joe Grillo, Congressman Frank Pallone, NJ Democratic Chairman John Currie and Monmouth Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal. photo via facebook
Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal said that Essex County’s Government is the model he hopes to impose on Monmouth County should he ever win control of the Board of Freeholders.
Gopal and his freeholder candidates Larry Luttrell and Joe Grillo ventured north to Essex this week, hat in hand for money to fund their quest to transform Monmouth into South Essex, according to a report on PolitickerNJ.
“They have done an extraordinary job in Essex County as far as managing a county government, and it’s all Democratic,” Gopal said. “It’s a model for Monmouth to hope to achieve one day.”
Monmouth County’s new Republican County Chairman Shaun Golden announced his leadership team this afternoon in an email to GOP County Committee Members.
Golden’s Regional Vice Chairs are Mary DeSarno of Wall Township, Christine Hanlon of Ocean Township, Tony Fiore of Middletown and Rob Nicastro of Howell.
The Diversity Council, which is still in formation, is Chaired by Juan Malave of Howell. John Costigan of Howell is the liaison to the NJGOP.
Ron Gravino is the Treasurer. Wayne Pomanowski is the Sgt-At-Arms and John Lane is the Parliamentarian. Tom Szymanski is the Executive Director.
Golden invited all County Committee Members and volunteers to attend a 2014 Campaign Kickoff on Saturday, June 28, 10am and Party Headquarters, 2 Monmouth Ave, Unit B3 in Freehold. A light breakfast will be served.
Monmouth County Shaun Golden has been elected Chairman of the Monmouth County Republican Committee.
Golden defeated incumbent Chairman John Bennett 335 votes to 282.
UPDATED: June 11, 2014
There was brief confusion when County Clerk Claire French presented the results to Bennett. Bennett misunderstood the results and thought he had won. He and his daughters started to celebrate but were quickly corrected. Bennett then announced that Golden was the new County Republican Chairman and left the room with his family.
Golden thanked the convention and promised to conduct his new office with dignity and honor.
Unaware that MMM already had published the vote count, Golden declined to release the results to The Asbury Park Press, saying he would release them today.
Golden did not announce his choice of Vice Chair. Rather, he will announce a leadership council and a diversity team to reach out to ethnic groups that traditionally do not vote Republican before the week is out. Members of the leadership team will serve as “co-vice chairs” with one of them holding the title as a formality.
Golden is retaining Executive Director Tom Symanski’s employment with the Party. “Tom has done a good job and we worked well together on the campaign last year,” Golden said this morning, ” we’ll give him more direction and support going forward.”
Voting has commenced at the Monmouth County Republican Convention.
Credentials were issued to 626 County Committee members who are choosing between incumbent Chairman John Bennett and Sheriff Shaun Golden. Registration and credentialing remains open .
The theme of the evening has been unity, and the nominating speakers, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon for Bennett and Freeholder Tom Arnone for Golden, stressed that all Republicans must come together when the voting is complete.
Both candidates repeated the themes of their campaign’s during their speeches to the convention, with Golden emphasizing his energy and growing the party with enhanced communication and outreach to diverse demographics, and Bennett emphasizing the successes of his two years in office and his 40 year career in politics.
Bennett did not raise the issue of a conflict of interest for a Sheriff being Chairman, as he had through most of the campaign.