Current, Former Legislators Endorse Bennett for Monmouth GOP Chair

Senator Robert Singer, Assemblymen Sean Kean and Declan O’Scanlon as well as former Assembly members Clare Farragher, Michael Arnone, and Marie Muhler (also former Surrogate) have endorsed John Bennett for Monmouth GOP Chair in a letter to County Committee members that reads as follows:

We are writing to request your support for our friend, former colleague and State Committeeman Senator John Bennett as the next Chair of the Monmouth County Republican Party.

Senator Bennett, as a member of the Monmouth County legislative delegation for over twenty-four years, has always put the interests of the people of Monmouth County first.  Whether it was improving the environment, cutting taxes, bringing home State dollars or fighting for our seniors, John was in the forefront and got the job done.

Besides his excellent legislative record, Senator Bennett has time and time again demonstrated his leadership ability.  For years he served as Chairman of the Assembly Environmental Committee and championed some of the most effective environmental legislation in the history of our State.

Upon being elected to the New Jersey Senate, Senator Bennett was soon selected by his legislative colleagues to become he Deputy Majority Leader and thereafter the Senate Majority Leader.  In January 2002, Senator Bennett became the Senate President and was sworn in on the same day as Acting Governor of New Jersey.

Senator Bennett has proposed a Ten-Point-Plan for this platform as our Chairman which includes: returning the County Convention System for candidate selection, developing and implementing a set of by-laws within sixty (60) days and establishing a Board of Directors with regional representatives.  He has also pledged that his law firm will not accept any County work or any County job during his tenure as County Chair to avoid any perceived conflict of interest.

Senator Bennett is a proven leader who unites factions and can maitain our party as a strong and inclusive one,  his experience and leadership will serve our Coutny origanization well and we urge you to supoort him at the convention on Tuesday June 12 at 7:00 P.M. at the Colts Neck High School for Monmouth Republican Chair.


Posted: June 6th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: John Bennett, Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

8 Comments on “Current, Former Legislators Endorse Bennett for Monmouth GOP Chair”

  1. Snowbird said at 3:40 pm on June 6th, 2012:

    Half of these endorsers are eating through straws in Florida while living off their fat state pensions like Bennett.

  2. half are current, productive, said at 9:58 pm on June 6th, 2012:

    and admired legislators, and the other half are John’s running-mates and friends, through 12 successful campaigns, and are still active and involved citizens!.. the lack of respect for people who have helped to build this county, and who won more races for our GOP, than most can ever hope to achieve, is not only childish, ignorant, and maddening, it’s a very sad portent of things to come, for our Monmouth County GOP, going forward!..

  3. Proud Republican said at 10:55 pm on June 6th, 2012:

    You missed other likely John Bennett endorsements – from all of the newspapers who are chomping at the bit to crank out editorial after editorial should he be elected Chair. Please John, for the good of the party – drop out already!

  4. Gerri, finish your wine and go to bed.... said at 11:38 pm on June 6th, 2012:

    “the lack of respect for people who have helped to build this county, and who won more races for our GOP, than most can ever hope to achieve, is not only childish, ignorant, and maddening,it’s a very sad portent of things to come, for our Monmouth County GOP, going forward!”

    What’s childish, ignorant and maddening are the delusions of certain people who actually believe that they helped build this county and won races.

  5. Weedman said at 7:53 am on June 7th, 2012:

    I’m not surprised by Declan’s endorsement. Seems he may be getting too close to the smoke he is advocating for all over Monmouth County.

    Anyone who votes for John “the APP will be back in circulation if I win” Bennett must be smoking the good stuff. Is there a farm in Freehold yet?

  6. Stick to your word John said at 8:03 am on June 7th, 2012:

    In this article from 2003’s Star Ledger, Bennett promised to never seek elected office again. Isn’t this an elected office?

    Ethics issues sink Bennett

    24-year career ended by newcomer

    Wednesday, November 05, 2003

    Star-Ledger Staff

    State Senate Co-President John O. Bennett III, New Jersey’s top elected Republican, was ousted by a political newcomer yesterday after a bitter campaign dominated by questions about the veteran lawmaker’s ethics.

    Ellen Karcher, daughter of the late Alan Karcher, an imposing speaker of the state Assembly during the 1980s, defeated Bennett by a comfortable margin to become senator-elect in New Jersey’s 12th Legislative District, which includes parts of Monmouth and Mercer counties.

    The upset had been forecast by public polls for weeks leading up to Election Day, but it still caught many in New Jersey’s political class off-guard. It represented the first time in at least 70 years that a sitting Senate president lost a re-election bid, and helped tilt control of the upper house to the Democratic Party.

    “This race has been intense, emotional, and even at times very personal,” Bennett told a dispirited group of some 100 supporters at the Greystone Manor in Freehold last night. “While my opponent and I disagree on a whole host of issues, the people have in fact now made their choice.”

    Karcher, a 39-year-old mother of three whose only experience in elective office has been a two-year stint as president of the Marlboro Township Council, exulted in her unlikely victory.

    “This day was a long time in coming,” she said. “It’s time to end the perception — or worse, the reality — that people enter public office for personal gain.”

    Bennett’s fall from the heights of state politics ended, at least for now, a 24-year legislative career defined by fiscal conservatism and moderation on social issues. That formula, combined with his rising stature in Trenton’s hierarchy, made Bennett virtually unbeatable in previous campaigns. Only two years ago, he won re-election by an overwhelming 18-point margin.

    Bennett’s dominance in the 12th District was badly shaken in March, however, when federal authorities began investigating $8,130 in overcharges billed to Marlboro Township by his law firm. He also faced criticism for placing his mother and mother-in-law on the state payroll, and for building a substantial public pension by supplementing his legislative salary with earnings from municipal legal work.

    Bennett became a frequent target of scathing editorials from the newspaper with the largest circulation in Monmouth County, the Asbury Park Press. On Monday, the paper wrote that Bennett “symbolizes everything that is wrong with New Jersey politics.”

    Bennett did not specifically address the ethics allegations last night, but he did single out the Asbury Park Press for criticism, saying the newspaper embarked on a “unrelenting mission to destroy my personal and professional career.”

    Despite heavy Democratic spending in the race and recurring questions about Bennett’s ethics, state Republican officials held out hope that the Republican senator would fend Karcher off in the end. Bennett’s loss effectively killed GOP hopes of gaining control of an evenly divided Senate, and it contributed to the defeat of Bennett’s two incumbent Assembly running mates, Michael Arnone and Claire Farragher.

    The result also set off an immediate scramble for leadership of the Senate Republicans. Among those mentioned in recent weeks as candidates to replace Bennett were Sens. Joseph Kyrillos (R-Monmouth), Leonard Lance (R-Hunterdon), Robert Singer (R-Ocean) and Diane Allen (R-Burlington).

    Democrats, meanwhile, reveled in Karcher’s success.

    “I feel good,” said state Sen. Richard Codey (D-Essex), who serves as Senate co-president with Bennett.

    “John Bennett is a gentleman, and he was always very easy to deal with. I wish him and his family nothing but the best in the future,” Codey said. But looking ahead, Codey said, “We’re excited.”

    Karcher, who survived a contested Democratic primary to run against Bennett, seized on the Republican’s ethical problems early and often, portraying him as the poster boy for lawmakers who profit from public service.

    “To John Bennett, the Statehouse isn’t a gold dome … it’s a gold mine,” one of Karcher’s fliers proclaimed.

    Throughout the campaign, Karcher promised to bring “fresh ideas” to Trenton, even though her central proposal — to charge builders impact fees for development — has failed for years to advance through the Statehouse. In the end, she got most of her traction by defining herself as the “anti-Bennett.”

    Karcher drew considerable support from Democrats statewide, who saw an opportunity to capitalize on Bennett’s problems and prevent the legislative losses that historically have come during the first mid-term elections of a freshman governor’s tenure. As of late last month, Karcher and her running mates had raised more than $1.5 million, twice as much as Bennett and his running mates.

    Bennett, 55, fought back aggressively, casting himself as the victim of a dirty campaign and Karcher as the puppet of an unpopular Democratic governor, James E. McGreevey. His campaign literature labeled Karcher as “McGreevey’s handpicked candidate.”

    Bennett also pounced on Karcher for her own ethical misjudgment, after she accepted campaign contributions from a law firm that won a legal contract from Marlboro Township during her tenure.

    Last night, Karcher, who is working toward her doctorate degree at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University, said it was time to move beyond the angry rhetoric of the campaign. “It is time,” she said, “to wish my opponent well.”

    Bennett said last night he would not seek elective office again. After a week in which he lost his father, John O. Bennett Jr., and saw the birth of his first granddaughter, Mary Catharine Bennett, he said he expected to spend more time with his family.

    “I’m happy about that,” he said.

  7. Rick Ambrosia said at 9:47 am on June 7th, 2012:

    Declan got a nice consultant fee from Colts Neck when the cell tower was going up, which also happens to be one of the townships that employs Bennett as counsel. That would also account for Mayor Engels endorsement. They’re all connected.

    Oh, what a tangled web we weave.

  8. when ya ain't got the creds said at 11:58 pm on June 7th, 2012:

    go ahead, again attack the opponent, his family, his life, even his volunteers.. not unexpected, but, kids, it is gettin’ awfully predictable and boring, what with the Ocean County mailinghouse postmarks, “anonymous” smears from “Trenton”, i.e., your usual playbook …. is also amusing to see the “webs” and connections being criticized for your opponents, but, a complete failure to recognize and illustrate the most blatant and conflict-ridden snowjob that’s ever been perpetrated on this party, going on, right now, in front of the so naive among us..predicting this time, you’re gonna fail, children..