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.
The four of the five members of Manalapan’s Township Committee, all Republicans, endorsed Monmouth County Republican Chairman John O. Bennett III for a second term as Chairman yesterday.
In a statement released by Bennett which can be found here, the Mayor Jordan Maskowitz, Deputy Mayor Jack McNaboe, and Committee Members Mary Ann Musich and Susan Cohen, the MCGOP Vice Chairwoman, said:
It is a great honor to stand with John O. Bennett in his campaign to seek a second term as Chairman and Vice-Chairwoman, respectively. The bottom line is that John Bennett has kept all of his campaign promises from two years ago, and the Monmouth County Republican Party is stronger today than it was then.
John’s first promise when running two years ago was to implement a new set of by-laws and move to a convention system when selecting candidates in order to make the entire process more democratic. John has done this, and now County Committee members select our organization’s candidates, not political bosses in the back room.
Manalapan Township Committee Members Mary Ann Musich, Deputy Mayor Jack McNaboe, Mayor Jordan Maskowitz, Susan Cohen and Ryan Green
John also pledged to put in place a Board of Directors to meet and advise the Chairman, and he has met this promise as well. Now, Republican representatives from all over the county have a direct say in the County Party. He also promised to keep our County Party headquarters open and staffed full time, and has done this. The County Party headquarters has been an invaluable resource for Manalapan Township. Last year at the headquarters, our campaign volunteers made phone calls into Manalapan every Monday night on behalf of Governor Christie, our County candidates, and our local Township Committee candidates.
We encourage County Committee members not just of Manalapan, but all of Monmouth County to vote for JohnO. Bennett, a proven leader and party builder, at the June 10th Chairman’s Convention. Thank you.
John Bennett and Shaun Golden kicked off their respective campaigns for the Monmouth GOP Chairmanship last week on a positive note and each man said he wants a positive campaign.
Sheriff Shaun Golden
Golden, the Monmouth County Sheriff, is challenging the incumbent Bennett for the opportunity to lead the Monmouth County Republican Committee for the next two years. The election will take place on June 10 at iPlayAmerica in Freehold.
By a 4-1 vote the Manalapan Township Committee elected Jordan Maskowitz to serve as mayor for the year 2014.
Ryan Green, the sole vote against Maskowitz, nominated Susan Cohen to serve a third year as mayor. Cohen declined Green’s nomination and nominated Maskowitz.
Green said Maskowitz lacks the integrity to be mayor. Green accused Maskowitz of violating the Open Public Records Act and announced he provide evidence of OPRA violations, 50 emails, to the Monmouth County Prosecutor tomorrow.
Maskowitz said that the emails Green was referring to were contract related and not subject to OPRA.
Cohen broke from her prepared remarks to rebuke Green. She said that Green was grandstanding and that if he believed the law had been violated he should have immediately gone to the prosecutor. Cohen said she would have gone with Green to the prosecutor if she believed there were OPRA violations on the committee.
Green said he had the unanimous support of the Township Committee members to be mayor in 2014, prior to his writing the State Department of Community Affairs and the State Department of Health with concerns over the committee’s negotiations with the Englishtown-Manalapan First Aid Squad.
During the public portion of the reorganization meeting, Manalapan Republican Chairman Steven McEnery said that he make a mistake in ever recommending Green for public office. McEnery said that Green had proven not to be a team player, rather he is only out for himself. McEnery apologized to the the entire Monmouth County Republican Commitee for recommending Green be elected a freeholder in 2012.
Jack McNaboe was elected Deputy Mayor by a 5-0 vote.
The Manalapan Township Committee unanimously approved an agreement with the Englistown-Manalapan First Aid Squad on December 11, 2013 that will permit the previously all volunteer squad that provides first aid and ambulance service for free to Manalapan residents to form an non-profit entity to would hire paid EMTs to supplement the declining ranks of volunteers and bill residents who use the services the amount that their health insurance companies would otherwise pay to private first aid and ambulance companies.
Township Committeeman Ryan Green joined his fellow Republican committee members in voting for the agreement with EMFSA, but then went public with a letter to the editor to the NewsTranscript in which he criticized Mayor Susan Cohen and Deputy Mayor Jordan Maskowitz for failing to seek input from the public on what Green calls “a major change.”
Andrew Lucas resigned his position on the Manalapan Committee today. His term was due to expire at the end of this year. He was not seeking reelection.
His two line resignation letter simply said he was resigning effective immediately and appreciated the opportunity to serve.
Mayor Susan Cohen and Committeeman Ryan Green both said they had no idea why Lucas resigned. Lucas has not returned a call for comment.
Once a rising star in the Monmouth GOP, Lucas was a nominee for Freeholder in 2006, losing to Barbara McMarrow of Freehold Township, then a Democrat. McMarrow has since become a Republican and is a member of the Freehold Township Committee.
Manalapan Mayor Susan Cohen posted the following message on facebook at 2:25 ths afternoon:
From the Manalapan Police and the Town Committee
At 11:11 am today March 13, 2013 the Manalapan Township Police were dispatched to the Manalapan High School in reference to a terroristic threat made via Twitter. A male juvenile student of the school sent a Twitter message which contained threats made by him that he intended to bring a firearm to the school and “go hunting”.
The school officials were made aware of the Tweets and immediately put the school into a stationary lockdown and contacted the police. The school officials were able to identify the student who sent the tweets and isolated him without incident. The juvenile was detained and checked by school security and found not to be in possession of any weapons. His belongings and locker were also checked and found not to have any weapons contained therein. This student was arrested on scene and juvenile charges will be signed against him for terroristic threats and false public alarm.
Manalaplan Committeeman Don Holland resigned effective yesterday, according to a report in the Manalapan Patch.
Patch cites a press release from Manalpan GOP Chairman Steve McEnery which stated Holland resigned for health reasons. Holland could not be reached this evening.
On December 6, 2012 Holland submitted and later retracted his resignation, according to documentation obtained by MMM and an interview with Holland.
Holland and Mayor Susan Cohen, the Monmouth GOP Vice Chair, are the two Manalapan Committee members who voted to approve the funds to purchase Andrew Lucas’ farm development rights last week.
Holland was first elected to the Township Committee as a Democrat. He switched parties and was reelected as a Republican in 2011. His term is scheduled to expire in December of 2014.
The Manalapan Republican Committee will submit 3 candidates to fill the vacancy within 30 days. The four remaining Committee members will chose one of those three candidates to serve until the November election. The voters will elect a candidate to complete the term.
The Manalpan Township Committee was 5-0 Republican prior to Holland’s resignation. With this vacancy, partisan control of the committee is at play, as the new Committee Member will have to defend the seat and run with incumbents Andrew Lucas and Jordan Maskowitz in November, assuming the incumbents both seek reelection.
After almost three years since the Manalapan Township Committee Member purchased a 97 acre farm in Iron Ore Road, the Manalapan Township Committe and the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders approved the funding of their respective portion of the purchase of the development rights to the property. Manalapan is paying $186,969.10 of the purchase price. Monmouth County is paying $277,920. The balance is coming from State coffers for the purpose of Open Space preservation.
Manalapan’s all Republican Committee approved their funds, 2-1, on Wednesday evening, according to ManalapanPatch. Committeeman Ryan Green voted no. Deputy Mayor Jordan Maskowitz abstained. Mayor Susan Cohen, the Monmouth GOP Vice Chair, and Committeeman Donald Holland voted to approve the purchase. Lucas recused himself from the proceedings. Maskowitz and Lucas are both up for reelection this November.
The isssue was heated at the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders meeting last night, with John Curley accusing his fellow freeholder, Lillian Burry, of colluding with Lucas. Lucas hosted a fundraiser for Burry at the farm in 2011, according to the Asbuy Park Press. The APP said the exchanges between Curley and Burry were so intense that Freeholder Director Tom Arnone called multiple recesses. Arnone voted with Curely against the purchased. Gary Rich and Serena DiMaso joined Burry in voting for the purchase.
Democratic Freeholder candidate Lawrence Luttrell asked Burry to recuse herself. County Counsel Andrea Bazer advised Burry that she had no conflict that would prevent her from voting.
Former Middletown Democratic Township Commitee candidate Linda Baum also spoke against the purchase on ethical grounds.
The issue has been controversial for years because, while he recused himself from voting as a committee member on the purchase, Lucas participated in deliberations about the transaction. The State Local Finance Board approved the ethics of Lucas’ participation due to the fact that he sought the advice of the Township’s attorney. In their opinion, the Finance Board indicated that they would be issuing new rules to cover future similar circumstances.
Former Senate President John Bennett is the Chairman of the Monmouth County Republican Organization.
Besting State Committeewoman Christine Hanlon by only 3 votes of the 615 cast an elated and magnanimous Bennett congratulated Hanlon on a hard fought race and announced that she was welcome to fill whatever role she liked on his team.
Bennett profusely thanked the Western Monmouth committee members and invited Manalapan Municipal Chairman Steve McEnry to nominate Mayor Susan Cohen as Vice Chair. Cohen was elected by acclamation.
In what was described as a record turn out, over 700 Republicans, including guests, crowded into the Colts Neck High School auditorium.
Freeholder Lillian Burry placed Bennett’s name into nomination and launched into the theme of the evening’s speeches by attacking the Hanlon campaign for negative campaigning. A more conciliatory Senator Jennifer Beck nominated Hanlon with an acknowledgment of negative campaigning on both sides and an impassioned called to build on the successes of the last four years by voting for Christine.
A handful of members of the Bayshore Tea Party Group attempted to nominate one of their own for Chair. Outgoing Chairman Joe Oxley shut them down as they continued to shout from their seats.
Bennett, who gave his speech without a microphone, continued the theme of attacking the negative campaigning and attacked Hanlon for refusing to give up county legal work. During her speech, Hanlon called the negatives and two way street and was booed by Bennett supporters when she called the conflict of interest charge unfair.
If there was an undecided vote in the auditorium prior to the speeches, Bennett probably won them over with a better delivery than Hanlon’s.