Low turnout is a major risk for LD 13 incumbents

LD 13:Aberdeen, Atlantic Highlands, Fair Haven, Hazlet, Highlands, Holmdel, Keansburg, Keyport, Little Silver, Marlboro, Middletown, Monmouth Beach, Oceanport, Rumson, Sea Bright, Union Beach

LD 13:Aberdeen, Atlantic Highlands, Fair Haven, Hazlet, Highlands, Holmdel, Keansburg, Keyport, Little Silver, Marlboro, Middletown, Monmouth Beach, Oceanport, Rumson, Sea Bright, Union Beach

The idea that State Senator Joe Kyrillos and Assembly Members Amy Handlin and Declan O’Scanlon could be defeated by their Tea Party challengers, Leigh-Ann Bellew for Senate and Edna Walsh and Stephen Boracchia for Assembly, in the June 4 primary is unthinkable, even laughable, to many Monmouth County Republicans.

But recent history and a look at the numbers indicate that an upset with statewide consequences could very well be in the making if the challenge is not taken seriously.

With only nominal competition in the governor’s race, voter turnout in the Republican primary on June 4 is likely to be very low.   Therein lies the danger for the incumbents. Even “good Republicans” rarely vote in primaries.  Even fewer if there is no perceived competition.

There are 34,216 registered Republicans in the 13th district. In the 2011 primary, the last time the legislature was on the ballot, only 2,274 Republicans voted.   The challengers know that.

“This is a dangerous district for ‘the establishment’ in a primary, one high ranking Republican told MoreMonmouthMusings, “in 2010,Diane Gooch lost the district (to Anna Little) and Sheriff Shaun Golden lost Middletown to Dan Peters by 200 votes.  Golden won the 2010 primary because of support from the rest of the county.”

“Leigh-Ann Bellew is not Anna Little and Joe Kyrillos is not Diane Gooch,” said another high ranking Republican who considers the primary challenge little more than an annoyance, “Joe, Amy and Declan have great records and have helped a lot of people.  They will do just enough to win.”

If the latter attitude prevails amongst the Monmouth GOP and the incumbents, there could well be an upset on June 4.   If they do nothing, or “just enough” the incumbents are leaving themselves vulnerable.  Getting 3,ooo – 5,ooo “new” primary voters to come out is not out of the realm of possibility for the BTPG and their candidates.

The county candidates, Sheriff Shaun Golden and Freeholders Tom Arnone and Serena DiMaso, are far less vulnerable than Kyrillos, Handlin and O’Scanlon.  The Bayshore Tea Party Group and the candidates they are supporting on focused on the 13th district.  The challenging freeholder candidates told the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission that they intend to spend less than $4500 on their campaigns.  Waging a countywide campaign is an expensive and exhausting endeavor for the unknown freeholder challengers, Brian Largey and Ed Pekarsky. They aren’t really trying, beyond the 13th.  Dan Peters, Golden’s second time challenger, is raising money, but he too is focusing most of his efforts in the 13th.

Compounding the challenge for the incumbents is that the weeks leading up to the primary are the busy season in Trenton.  The Legislature closes shop in the summer and doesn’t go back to work until after election day, in order that incumbents can spend their time on the campaign trail. That doesn’t happen during primary season.  The legislature is busy between now and June 30 when the state budget is due. There will be voting sessions and committee meetings requiring Kyrillos, Handlin and O’Scanlon to be in Trenton.

The challengers and BTPG volunteers have been going door to door for weeks.   They are motivated.  The incumbents are annoyed.  They consider the time and money they will have to spend winning their nominations as resources that would be better spent on winning Democratic seats elsewhere in the state.

An upset could happen.



Posted: April 15th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election, Amy Handlin, Assembly Republicans, Bayshore Tea Party Group, Declan O'Scanlon, Diane Gooch, Joe Kyrillos, LD 13, Leigh-Ann Bellew, Monmouth County, Monmouth GOP, Primary Election, Serena DiMaso, Shaun Golden, Tom Arnone | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

12 Comments on “Low turnout is a major risk for LD 13 incumbents”

  1. Politicalpony said at 1:47 pm on April 15th, 2013:

    Without saying to much as to agitate and put enough fear into the GOP to make them run out and campaign, who ever your anonymous GOP person is, when trying to make comparisons herren Little and Belew, they couldn’t be more off target. With all due respect for Anna Little, and I do have plenty of redirect for her, evidently your source doesn’t know Lee Ann Belew. There currently might only be one representative in Trenton that can equal her knowledge of the constitution both state and federal. As a teacher by nature she has no problem speaking to people on issue in ways that all can understand. Don’t get me erring, I like Joe, but if he ever were to go toe to toe in a live debate with Lee Ann Belew, it would be over before it started. I guess you might in a sense say it would be ugly but with her wonderful attitude and knowledge on the issues.

  2. Politicalpony said at 1:51 pm on April 15th, 2013:

    One more thing. Art, please no more warnings of their possible fait. Please?

  3. Go Tea Party Candidates!!!! said at 3:34 pm on April 15th, 2013:

    Joe (Kyrillos) has to go! What has he done for his district other than eat at the taxpayer trough for what–20 years? What meaningful legislation has he crafted that benefits his constituency?

    He failed to speak up for his constituents who commute into New York by failing to hold the Port Authority’s feet in being more transparent and accountable. Meanwhile, commuters like me get raked over the coals–in the form of higher tolls (taxes).

    He failed to question at the Senate Judiciary Committee meetings the Solomon Dwek-Joe Oxley connections.

    He failed to speak out against the pension fraud at the Sheriff’s Department.

    Brookdale? I don’t recall a peep about that either. Even though he’s a state senator, he is still a taxpaying resident of this county. He is our”advocate” and “leader” in Trenton.

    And this is the man that will be attending a fundraiser April 30th (Sexual Assault Awareness Month, by the way), with a known convicted assaulter and abuser of woman!!

    Give me a break already. JOE HAS GOT TO GO!!!

  4. monmouth girl said at 4:58 pm on April 15th, 2013:

    @Go Tea Party Candidates or should I just call you Jim Sage.

    Here is a civics lesson – Sheriff Department and Brookdale are county issues. Joe is a State official.

    Jim, tell everyone the real crime at the Sheriff’s Department that you belief has occured – that “crime” is that Sheriff Golden wouldnt give you a job!

  5. Go GOP! said at 6:07 pm on April 15th, 2013:

    Phil – you really need to get a dictionary and to proof read!

  6. Justified Right said at 8:03 pm on April 15th, 2013:

    It’s a very interesting observation Art. Good work.

  7. Joe Must Go!! said at 9:42 pm on April 15th, 2013:

    Why no mention of Seth Grossman, who is the only Tea Party Approved and Constitutionally Certified candidate for Governor? Conservatives are fed up with RINO bosses and Chris Christie’s tax-and-spend-and-borrow-and-spend-some-more big government policies. While over-confident RINOs stay at home, conservatives will turn out in record numbers and get rid of Chris Christie and the RINO bosses once and for all. Not only in Monmouth County but throughout the state the Tea Party tickets led by Seth Grossman will sweep the RINO bosses out of power.

    As to RINO Joe Kyrillos, he is a stench in the nostrils of patriotic conservatives who are sick and tired of RINO bosses and their “go along to get along with Democrats” strategy so they can continur to collect their government paychecks, pensions and health benefits. Leigh Ann Bellew is the only Tea Party Approved and Constitutionally Certified candidate for State Senate who will put the interests of taxpayers ahead of the political hacks like Joe Kyrillos who feed at the taxpayer trough.

  8. Bob English said at 10:31 pm on April 15th, 2013:

    @Joe…if the question was asked/answered before I apologize but what does “constitutionally certified” mean in the context of a candidate like Mr. Grossman?

  9. Joe Must Go said at 10:52 pm on April 15th, 2013:

    Seth Grossman is the only Tea Party Approved and Constitutionally Certified candidate for Governor. Seth Grossman is a prominent Attorney and Constitutional Scholar who has dedicated his life to studying the Constitution and promoting the principles of liberty and prosperity which are contained in that document.

    Leigh Ann Bellew is also a Tea Party Approved and Constitutionally Certified Teacher and Scholar. When she is elected State Senator she will be the only Tea Party Approved and Constitutionally Certified member of that legislative body other than State Senator Mike Doherty.

  10. Joe D. said at 6:36 am on April 16th, 2013:

    In a few months Leigh Ann and the others will go back to obscurity. Democrats rally around their candidates and Republicans move into ideological camps designed to hurt one another. Makes no sense. Seth Grossman? Really? Joe K. is a distinguished and solid leader that does not pander to groups.

  11. shore guy said at 9:14 am on April 16th, 2013:

    @ Joe Must Go – you, Seth and Bellewga are “Certified” NUTS!

  12. Declan tries, Joe is bruised, said at 9:14 pm on April 16th, 2013:

    But I sure would not miss Ms. Amy!