Monmouth Democratic Nominating Convention Preview

The Monmouth County Democrats are holding their nominating convention on Thursday, March 22 at the Bayshore Senior Center, 6:30 PM.

Michael Steinhorn of Rumson is the only candidate who has filed to run for County Clerk.  He is expected to be nominated to run against Republican incumbent M.Claire French. Steinhorn was the nominee for County Surrogate last year.

Former State Trooper Bill Shea, a candidate last year, and former Hazlet Mayor Kevin Lavan, a candidate for Assembly last year from the 13th district , will be freeholder candidates. 

There are two freeholder seats up this year;  a full term that is being defended by incumbent Republican Freeholder Director John Curley and an unexpired term that will be defended by Freeholder Serena DiMaso.  DiMaso was elected by the Monmouth Republican Committee to fill the vacancy created by Rob Clifton’s election to the State Assembly.

The Democrats have yet to determine which seats Shea and Lavan will challenge.

Former Freeholder Amy Mallet has not ruled out re-seeking the office that she lost last November.  Asked repeatedly by MMM if she was going to make an run for freeholder either at the convention or in the primary, Mallet said, “no, not at this time,” and “I am not running as of now.”   Asked to give a definitive answer, she declined.

Two candidates have thrown their hats into the ring for the nomination to take on Congressman Chris Smith in the 4th congressional district. Former Monmouth County Surrogate Patricia Bennett, now an elder law attorney in Red Bank and Spring Lake businessman Brian Froelich will compete for the Democratic endorsement on Thrusday night.  

Froelich has a website and says he’s filed with the FEC to be a candidate. He would not rule out a primary challenge should he lose to Bennett on Thursday, saying, “I intend to win at the convention and have not thought beyond that.”

Bennett could not be reach for comment.

Posted: March 20th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: 2012 Congressional Races, Chris Smith, Congress, Democrats, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth Democrats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments »

17 Comments on “Monmouth Democratic Nominating Convention Preview”

  1. Well....... said at 7:55 pm on March 20th, 2012:

    looks like without Scadari leading the pack, the Monmouth County Dems will be 0-3 again this year. Steinhorn is a looser. He won’t amount to anything. I predict a 67%-37% victory for Claire French this November.

    As for Freeholders, the last 2 years there has been no tax increase on the county level AND last year they reduced the budget by 1 million dollars and this year, the CFO has introduced one that was even less than the year before. Oh yeah, all that with still retain the county’s AAA bond rating, #1 vocational school in the COUNTRY, best parks in the country, and most circulated books in a library in NJ.

    So, what are the DEMS platform? You thought last election was a snoozer on the county level, just wait til this November!

  2. True on their lack of platform and issues, but, said at 9:32 pm on March 20th, 2012:

    it won’t stop the AP Rag from making mountains out of molehills and supporting whatever retreads/losers they may put up..and,the “knock and drag” efforts in our “bad” towns for Obama will be out in force, especially in the Pallone- 6th district, so we can’t rest easy, expect a good 80% or more turnout of the county’s total electorate, which is still a lot of top-heavy Dem turnout..does anyone really think Obama, Menendez, and at least Pallone won’t do well this year, all over?..there are miles to go before we can rest!..

  3. Bob English said at 11:10 pm on March 20th, 2012:

    Well: Playing devils advocate I woud think a D challanger could make an issue out of the current Freeholders watering down the Pay To Play laws that had been adopted in 2008. FYI I do like Freeholder Curley.

    True: My recollection was that aprox 90% of the APP’s endorsements in the November 2011 elections went to Republican candidates.

  4. Well....... said at 7:12 am on March 21st, 2012:

    @Bob…..last year, for the county races, they were 1 for 3. I will tell you who they will endorse this year….Michael Steinhorn, because Claire French was elected during the Harry Larrison years and the Press hates him, and will endorse probably Curley and the Dem running for the 1 year term. Nothing against Freeholder DiMaso, but the Press will NEVER endorse a 5-0 republican board. One of the main reasons why they didn’t endorse Burry and Rich last year.

    If you read last year’s endorsement for Freeholder, my guess is not that far fetch. APP endorsement means nothing. And that was proven last year with the victories of Rich, Burry, Angelini, & Rible, ALL who did not receive the endorsement.

  5. ArtGallagher said at 9:57 am on March 21st, 2012:

    I will tell you who they will endorse this year….Michael Steinhorn, because Claire French was elected during the Harry Larrison years

    Steinhorn might reject their endorsement if he even bothers to sit for the interview. He is steamed at the Neptune Nudniks!

    He told me yesterday that during the interview for the Surrogate endorsement last year, Steinhorn charged that a Middlesex County Court had ruled that the Monmouth County Surrogate’s office had lost a will. Rosemarie Peters denied the charged and Steinhorn produced the paperwork, catching Peters in a lie, he said.

    The APP did not do a story on the lost will and endorsed Peters.

    “How can they endorse someone who lied to their face?!” he exclaimed.

    APP endorsements are a joke. I was embarrassed for the Republicans who “earned” their endorsement last year and then touted it on their mailings.

    County candidates on both sides should boycott them this year. John Curley, who was burned by them in 2008 and Steinhorn should lead the way. That will only work in Frank LaRocca beats Vin Gopal for Dem Chairman. Gopal knows how to play the APP editorial board as he demonstrated in his Assembly race last year.

  6. Bob English said at 10:09 am on March 21st, 2012:

    Well…Without beating the issue to death, I agreed with most (not all) of the APP endorsements last time no matter if it was for a D or an R candidate. Mallet was certainly doing a good job and was worthy of reelection. The arguement for not having the board at 5-0 for either party is certainly a valid one since we know what a disaster it was the last time it was 5-0. If it was 4-1 or 3-2 I doubt the 2008 Pay to Play law gets overturned right off the bat at the beginning of this year.

    I also thought Gopal was a good choice especially in view of the discraceful sleazy campaign the R’s ran against him that the R candidates refused to disavow. Just speaking for myself, I don’t like voiting for people that flat out lie about their opponents especially when it comes to questions of eithics and honosty. Makes you wonder what other kinds of dishonosty they would find acceptable.

    If memory serves me, the APP endorsed the R’s in every (I think) race in Ocean County. I agree with you that newspaper endorsements don’t guarantee victory especially in local races but at the same time would rather have an endorsement than not have them if I were the candidate.

  7. Much ado said at 12:28 pm on March 21st, 2012:

    about very little: there’s nothing wrong with advocating for a statewide,consistent “pay-to-play statute”, which is what the county now follows, and which is in the legislative hopper, again..if it’s so terrible, you’ll see huge increases in the contributions on the candidates’ next 2012 ELEC reports, which is doubtful, and by the way, the D’s would get them,too… how about this: if and when the lovely unions STOP their unashamed, blatant support of only Dems, every year, in mailings to the home address of all union members in the county, can the D’s squawk at something so mundane and silly, and be correct: hint: they never will stop, because no one makes them stop!..we are quite used to this forever: unfair advantages are always ok, for the D’s!….

  8. Bob English said at 3:14 pm on March 21st, 2012:

    Strong pay to play laws are not about D’s or R’s, its about honost open government for everyone. While the state’s pay-to-play law sets caps on payments by individuals or companies, it also allows municipalities or counties to award contracts to campaign donors with virtually unlimited discretion as long as it follows a “fair and open” process — a procedure that offers few obstacles to entities seeking to reward political contributors. Net result can be: less competition=higher property taxes.

    Based on prior history in Monmouth County, the stronger the pay to play laws the better we all are. I thought the arguement for repealing the 2008 law was very weak.

  9. Monmouth Girl said at 4:38 pm on March 21st, 2012:


    What about labor unions – shouldn’t they be treated the same as companies that do work for the county? If the CWA gives big $$$ to a candidate and then that candidate supports a big raise for CWA county employees isnt that the same thing?

  10. Bob English said at 9:45 pm on March 21st, 2012:

    Monmouth Girl: I would be fine with eliminating all of the big money from campaign donations including unions, corporations, PAC’s etc.

  11. DEMS PLATFORM said at 7:43 am on March 22nd, 2012:

    Well, if the Dems were smart, they would hammer away at the silence of those Freeholders, and other elected county officials, for their silence on the Brookdale and Sheriff’s Department corruption. Their silence has been deafening on these matters,and whats killing the Dems is their own de facto SILENCE on these matters. Talk about letting opportunity slip through your fingers!

  12. Reality Check said at 8:00 am on March 22nd, 2012:

    You know what “DEMS PLATFORM” people don’t understand, nor do they care about the issues you raise. They care about their quality of life, good roads, nice parks, sound financial oversight, etc. – all of which are here in Monmouth County and all of which happened because of Republican leadership. They see the disaster that Democrats and their union masters have been for the state, so they simply don’t want to see that happen here.

  13. Monmouth Girl said at 9:01 am on March 22nd, 2012:

    That is good to hear Bob. I wish you were around when the Republicans crafted the Pay to Play plan and add Unions and the D’s and the Unions freaked out and said that their 1st amendments rights were being trampled on and threatened to sue. I guess money is only considered speech when the D’s are the ones getting the $$$$.

    BTW when did Jim Sage switch his name to DEM PLATFORM? Boy I guess he still has not gotten that job at the Sheriff’s office.

  14. Reality Check said at 9:26 am on March 22nd, 2012:

    Right Monmouth Girl. The unions spend more money than anyone to elect their bootlicking Democrat candidates, but Republicans aren’t allowed to raise any money on their own. Pay to play legislation only hurts Republicans. Unless unions are included, there should be no pay to play restrictions. By the way, ever wonder why property taxes are so high and why everything costs so damn much in this state? One word – UNIONS!!!

  15. Bob English said at 2:08 pm on March 22nd, 2012:

    Note that I am also referring to the national scene as well. For better or worse, union $$$ is about the only big donnor $$ the D’s have to fight the large Republican contributors and superpacs such as Roves or people like the Koch brothers who have no problem basically buying off entire House committies and other politicians that deal with environmental issues. Unbelievably those groups are now talking about raising hundreds of millions of dollars each in this election cycle with much of the $$$ coming in the form of $1,000,000+ donations from millionaires and billionaires.

    So if you don’t want to allow unions to donate to political campaigns, you need to legally figure out a way to put a stop to (or severly limit) all PAC contributions also.

  16. Reality Check said at 6:16 pm on March 22nd, 2012:

    Bob English – please stop with the naivete already. Look at the Democrat donors ASIDE from their union masters _ billionaires Soros, Lewis, Geffen, along with just about every overpaid Hollywood airhead. The Democrats are the party of big money and want to stifle any competition from the other side through pay to play. The millions thrown into Democrat campaigns by the greedy, corrupt unions is just another piece of their big money warchest.

  17. Bob English said at 6:33 pm on March 22nd, 2012:

    Reality Check: Pay to Play is not about just Republicans getting contributions its about anyone that is in office getting contributions no matter if they are D’s or R’s….the donors could not care less. I am sitting here laughing though how you seem to perceive that stronger Pay To Play laws hurt Republicans only. I’d love to hear your explantion for that one.

    Nationally there is pleanty of big money on each side but the only way you can have true campaign finance reform is to find a way to legally eliminate/reduce all of it, not just try to stop the D’s main source.