Long hailed as one of the most talented up and comers in New Jersey politics, the Monmouth County Democratic Chairman from Long Branch appears poised to run against state Senator Jen Beck (D-11) in 2017. Beck will be a very tough out, but Gopal is a unique politician now emboldened by the loses last night of Beck’s running mates Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande.
Over the last two elections, Red Bank voters have expressed their dissatisfaction with their municipal government and transformed a Democratic stronghold into a swing town by splitting their partisan preferences in Council candidates.
Tomorrow, Red Bank will either turn over their government to Republican office holders with a 4-2 new majority, split partisan control of the Council 3-3, giving Democratic Mayor Pat Menna a deciding vote, or keep the current status-quo of 4-2 Democratic partisan control with Menna presiding over meetings and cutting ribbons, but having no power over policy.
Democratic incumbent Michael DuPont, 54, is running for his fourth term. Joining his effort to retain Democratic control of Red Bank is Board of Education Member Michael Ballard. Ballard, 52, replaced former Council President Art Murphy who resigned after a video of a drunken rant of him deriding a small business went viral.
Challenging DuPont and Ballard are Young Republicans Mark Taylor, 37, an attorney and Michael Whalen, 24, an insurance executive.
As the campaign comes to a close, the Democrats seem desperate to maintain control and their composure.
With only $3,000 cash on hand, as of September 30, Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal seems to be abandoning his strategy of concentrating on LD 11, and now appears to be focused on protecting his turf in Marlboro.
When we last heard from Lawrence “The Lunger” Luttrell, the three time election loser, was scurrying into obscurity while threatening to sue the Monmouth County Republican Committee for a radio ad that claimed his law license was “suspended” when in fact he had been ruled ineligible to practice law.
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To our knowledge, no one has actually investigated whether or not Luttrell actually practiced law during his ineligibility. He claimed he was unaware that he had been ruled ineligible, so maybe he did perform legal work when he was not legally authorized to do so. That would be a problem.
Now, nearly a year later, Luttrell has resurfaced in an apparent attempt to keep the voters of Marlboro in the dark about Councilwoman Randi Marder’s ethics violations and worse, the waste of $16,000 of Marlboro tax dollars that Mayor Jon Hornik and the Marlboro Township Council authorized to be spent in legal fees to appeal the New Jersey Local Finance Board’s findings that Marder committed eight ethical violations associated with the Township doing business with her husband’s companies.
Oh boy. Things just went from bad to worse for Vin Gopal and the Monmouth County Democrats:
Frank Argote-Freyre, Chairman of the Latino Coalition Continuing Political Committee. photo via facebook
The Latino Coalition Continuing Political Committee (LC-CPC) announced today its support for incumbent Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon because of her forward thinking pledge to modernize the clerk’s office.
“Many of the clerk’s staff are still using typewriters to conduct business on a daily basis,” said Frank Argote-Freyre, Chair of the LC-CPC. “The Latino Coalition believes she is the right person to bring the office into the 21st Century.”
At a meeting with the Coalition, Hanlon pledged to provide more information in Spanish on the county’s website. Hanlon also said she plans to improve the Clerk’s office by adding e-filing, providing more information online, and creating a more mobile friendly office, including a forms portal for online submission of many county forms.
In contrast, her opponent, Democrat Kevin Kane never responded to a request for a meeting with the Latino Coalition.
“Kane has served for many years as a Councilman in Freehold Borough and has done absolutely nothing to improve relations between the immigrant community and the more established residents,” said Argote-Freyre. “When former Mayor Michael Wilson tried to force Latino immigrants from the borough through a series of unethical actions, Kane sat silently and did nothing to foster a climate of understanding.”
Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal is having a bad day year.
The Dems have put their eggs in the LD 11 basket this year, hoping to pick off one or two of New Jersey’s only all female legislative delegation in Assemblywomen Mary Pat Angelini and Caroline Casagrande.
Vin made sure that his county candidates for Clerk and Freeholder are residents of the 11th, in hopes that a hometown turnout boost for the county candidates, who are hardly campaigning elsewhere in the county, might help Eric Houghtaling of Neptune and Joann Downey of Freehold over the finish line.
Only in the 11th will you find a typical election year showing of road and lawn signs. Houghtaling and Downey are advertising on ESPN and even FoxNews.
Gopal has historically been able to count on an assist from the Asbury Park Press. Not this year and not where he needs it most.
In endorsing Angelini and Casagrande, APP called them “among the strongest legislators in New Jersey.”
Highlands Councilwoman Tara Ryan. photo via facebook
The Monmouth County Democratic Party has endorsed incumbent Councilwoman Tara Ryan-Killeen for reelection in the non-partisan municipal election in Highlands on November 3.
In a sponsored advertisement on facebook, Chairman Vin Gopal’s organization lists every nominated Democratic candidate in Monmouth County on the County, State and Municipal levels, plus Ryan-Killeen in the non-partisan election in Highlands. The Democrats did not endorse any candidates in the only other non-partisan election this November, in Tinton Falls, which is uncontested.
Incumbent Councilman Kevin Redmond, who ran with Ryan-Killeen as a Democrat when they ran in 2012, did not receive the endorsement of Gopal’s organization. Highlands changed to non-partisan municipal elections in 2014.
Redmond and Ryan-Killeen appear to be running together, as the share a facebook page, lawn signs and have issued a joint mailer. However, they have different slogans on the ballot.
There appears to be a race worth watching in Marlboro
The Democratic campaign of Marlboro Mayor Jonathan Hornik and Council Members Randi Marder and Michael Scalea has characterized their opponents’ plan to reform the Township’s Summer Camp as “cheap gutter politics.”
In statement promoted by Hornik on facebook and released on the JerseyShoreInsider blog (a site funded by Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal and Ocean County Democratic Chairman Wyatt Earp that has nothing to do with Snooki or The Situation), Hornik campaign manager Jon Evans accused Republican candidate for Mayor Ira Goldberg and Council candidates Sui Allex and John Dwyer of exploting the “unfortunate and serious incident” that occurred as a result of Matthew Kleinstein, while working as a Marlboro Camp Counselor, sending pictures of his penis to four 11-13 year old female campers in his care.
Councilman Scalea was a member of the Township’s Recreation Committee at the time the incident occurred.
Evans’s statement goes on to claim that the reforms the Republicans proposed are already in practice in the Township of Marlboro. Evan’s states that the Republicans have no platform for improving Marlboro’s government. Read the full statement (that Evans inexplicably did not send directly to MMM) here:
Former Asbury Park Mayor Ed Johnson is “seriously thinking about” running for governor in 2017, according to a report on PolitickerNJ.
“I know a little about raising cities from the dead, and I know about staring down Hurricane Sandy,” said Johnson, who runs his own private consulting firm. “There are no greater troubled waters than our state right now. Whether it’s Democratic or Republican it just keeps going.Everything I’ve done, people said ‘you can’t do that,’ and we did it. People now say the state is too far gone, too broken, it can’t be fixed. I think it can be. I’m not saying I’ve made a final decision. It would be a wildcat, barn-burner election, no question, but the people must regain control of this state.”
Democratic Councilman Michael DuPont Remains Confident He Will Be Reelected
Vin Gopal: “GOP Will Take Control of Red Bank”
Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal told The Two River Times that the Republican Party will win control of the Red Bank municipal government in this November’s election.
Gopal, who launched a campaign of personal destruction against Red Bank GOP Chairman Sean DiSomma in 2013 when he issued a false press release asserting that DiSomma, then a candidate for council, had a warrant for his arrest in Texas over an unpaid traffic violation, whines incessantly to TRT reporter John Burton over the video that led to the resignation of Art Murphy from the borough council. Murphy, the Council President at the time of his resignation last week, also resigned his candidacy for reelection.
Gopal apparently has more of a problem with the fact that Murphy was caught vulgarly belittling his constituents than with the former Council President’s actions. Regardless of whether or not the Republicans released the video, which they deny, they did not fabricate charges, as Gopal did in 2013 against DiSomma.