Holmdel Deputy Mayor Serena DiMaso scored a surprisingly strong victory tonight at the Tea Party vetting of Freeholder candidates sponsored by the Bayshore Tea Party Group, the Jersey Shore Tea Party Patriots and the East Jersey Tea Party. The meeting of about 50 people was held at the West Park Recreation Center in Oakhurst.
DiMaso earned 50% of the vote in the four person race with 16 votes. Atlantic Highlands Councilman Peter Doyle got 8 votes followed by Howell Mayor Bob Walsh with 6 votes and Manalapan Committeeman Ryan Green getting 2.
While each of the candidates promoted their accomplishments as municipal leaders and their plans for county government, the Tea Party members were more concerned with federal and constitutional issues, for the most part.
Jersey Shore Patriot leader Mark Falzon said that DiMaso won over the group, which he said was very impressed with all four candidates, on the strength of her commitment to fight to repeal ObamaCare.
Joe Abbruscato of Tinton Falls expressed his frustration about Republican elected officials who seem resigned to the implementation of ObamaCare. Walsh and Green expressed their opposition to ObamaCare. Doyle said he was hopeful that the U.S. Supreme Court would overturn the law. DiMaso said that as a member of the Board of Trustees of Meridian Health and as a physician’s wife, that she is actively fighting ObamaCare and was intimately familiar with the damage it will do to the country.
Brett Rappaport of Manalapan asked what Green said were the toughest questions of the campaign. 1) Name a Republican office holder who should be voted out of office, and 2) name an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that should be repealed.
All four candidates revealed that they are not terribly familiar with the Constitution they have sworn to uphold.
Regarding the “bad Republican” question, DiMaso hit it out of the park, “I’ve done it twice in primaries in Holmdel.” Walsh spoke of running against the party as an Independent in Howell. Green and Doyle punted.
Assuming there is a quorum of 386 present, the Monmouth GOP Committee will elect one of the four candidates to fill the seat vacated by Assemblyman Rob Clifton on Saturday at Colts Neck High School.
The final opportunity to hear all candidates will be on Friday night at the Monmouth Affiliated Republican Club’s candidates night dinner at Doolan’s in Spring Lake.