Walsh To Challenge Freeholder Incumbents

Howell Councilman Bob Walsh, second from left, and Freeholder Gary Rich, right, are set to compete for a 2014 GOP nomination.  Andrew Lucas, left, then a Manalapan Committeeman and Wall Township Committeeman George Newberry, between Walsh and Rich. Photo from 2011 Freeholder nomination race.

Howell Councilman Bob Walsh, second from left, and Freeholder Gary Rich, right, are set to compete for a 2014 GOP nomination. Andrew Lucas, left, then a Manalapan Committeeman and Wall Township Committeeman George Newberry, between Walsh and Rich. Photo from 2011 Freeholder nomination race. Photo credit Rhoda Chodosh

Freeholder Lillian Burry: “They (her opponents) should say what they would do better. Their negative attacks make them look like asses.  They are asses!”

The By-Laws instituted by Monmouth Republican Chairman John Bennett as the fulfillment of one of his major campaign promises in 2012 will likely result in one of his most ardent supporters, Freeholder Lillian Burry, being challenged at the 2014 Monmouth Republican Nominating Convention in March.

Howell Councilman Bob Walsh said he will seek a nomination for freeholder when the Republican County Committee convenes next spring.  Incumbents Burry and Freeholder Gary Rich both said they will seek the nominations for new terms…Burry’s 4th, Rich’s 2nd…and that they are prepared to fight back Walsh’s challenge.

“Tell him to wait his turn,” Burry said of Walsh’s challenge.  “I’m running and I support Gary Rich for another term.”

“I’ve heard the name mentioned as a candidate,” Rich said of Walsh, “but I haven’t heard from him. It is interesting that he would challenge an incumbent like Lillian Burry who has such an exemplary record serving the taxpayers of Monmouth County.  Lillian and I both work very hard to improve the county.”

“Freeholders are not elected for life,” Walsh, a former Howell mayor elected as an Independent, said, “my record speaks for itself.  Lillian and Gary are both vulnerable. The Democrats are looking to take them out are excited about running against them.  I am more electable than either of them and I would be a better freeholder than either of them.”

Walsh said that a Democratic mayor told him at the League of Municipalities Convention last month, “The only thing better for Monmouth County Democrats than Cory Booker on the top of the ticket next year is Burry running for reelection .”

Many politicos, both Republican and Democrat, expect 2014 to be a “good Democratic year” in New Jersey and Monmouth County due to U.S. Senator Cory Booker leading the ticket as he seeks his own full term with no Republican opposition yet to be announced.

Monmouth Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal has been vocal of his criticism of Burry since he was elected in 2012, even though she has not been on the ballot since being elected to her third term in 2011. Gopal considers Rich, a freshman from a small town, Spring Lake, vulnerable because he does not have a strong base of supporters or demonstrated ability to raise money.  Gopal has told several people he wants to “take that guy out,” referring to Rich.

Many Republicans, some of whom are encouraging Walsh’s candidacy, are concerned that the Democrats will gain traction against Burry and Rich over their votes to approve the Andrew Lucas Farm Deal, despite the fact that Democrats have failed in every election, in Manalapan and on the county level, where they have made Lucas’s sale of the development rights to his farm for Open Space Preservation an issue.

Lucas was a Republican member of the Manalapan Township Committee when he acquired Burke Farm and throughout the process of selling the development rights to the government for Open Space.  Soon after the sale was completed, Lucas, who was a GOP Freeholder nominee in 2006, announced that he would not seek reelection.  In October, Lucas resigned his office just three months before his term was to expire.

Burry relishes the fight and the opportunity to defend her record. “Let them come after me,” Burry said defiantly, “I’m proud of my record over the nine years. The Lucas deal was approved by the Manalapan Township Committee, and the State, in addition to the county.  There is no issue here.  They should say what they would do better.  Their negative attacks make them look like asses.  They are asses!”

Rich is just as passionate, if less profane, in defending his record of two years. “I’m proud of what Lillian and I, along with the other freeholders have accomplished for Monmouth County taxpayers since I’ve been here,”  he said, ” As the liason to Finance and Administration, we’ve brought our budget in with a ZERO tax increase over the last two years, and we’re working on doing that again in the upcoming budget.” Rich also cited efficiencies he’s spearheaded in the County’s IT department for purchasing and payroll processes, and an ongoing energy savings project.

“I may not be at all of the events and ribbon cuttings, ” Rich said, “but that is not the job.  I am putting in 40 hours a week on for this part time job, finding ways to make our government better and saving the taxpayers money.”

Regarding the rap that he doesn’t raise money, Rich said that’s because he’s a team player.  “Chairman Bennett said he was going to raise all the money for campaigns and asked office holders not to do so.  Others have not complied, but I have, so far.   But now that I’m up for reelection next November, I’ve got a fundraiser scheduled for January.  We’ll see how I do.”

Under the Monmouth Republican Committee By-Laws adopted in September of 2012 any Republican can challenge the nomination of a County incumbent office holder at the nominating convention if 40 voting members of the County Committee endorse the challenger’s candidacy.  No more than one-third of the challenger’s endorsements can come from a single municipality.  Incumbent County office holders must present 25 County Committee endorsements to be considered for re-nomination.

Walsh was briefly a candidate for freeholder in 2011 and was a candidate to replace Assemblyman Rob Clifton in the 2012 Title 19 convention that Serena DiMaso won.  Bennett, before he became chairman, supported Walsh over DiMaso in the January, 2012  convention battle.  Former Red Bank Municipal Republican Chairman Jim Giannell, the Freeholder Maker, supported Walsh against DiMaso in 2012, Rich in his 2011 nomination race and Burry when she was first nominated in 2005.

Walsh said that if he is not nominated at the convention, he will not run in the primary.

Posted: December 4th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Elections, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments »

29 Comments on “Walsh To Challenge Freeholder Incumbents”

  1. Bill said at 4:49 pm on December 4th, 2013:

    As a Democratic this is very amusing.

  2. @Bill said at 4:53 pm on December 4th, 2013:

    As amusing as you constantly saying that Monmouth Dems would win? LMAO.

  3. First Of All said at 5:37 pm on December 4th, 2013:

    Can’t we just get past the holidays without the Monmouth County political world blowing up?

    Now, here’s my big bone of contention…

    While I do believe that maybe next time Lillian should retire honorably, Walsh is the LAST person I want to see ascend to a Freeholder position as he is a blowhard par excellence. Now, or never.


    Instead of talking about the positives of why he should be a Freeholder, he immediately broadsides with comments like:

    “my record speaks for itself. Lillian and Gary are both vulnerable. The Democrats are looking to take them out are excited about running against them. I am more electable than either of them and I would be a better freeholder than either of them.”

    What record would that be, as a blowhard that wore some clown suit to an event?

    Mr. Walsh, STOP listening to Democrats picking our candidates and telling you who they would want to run against. That’s no different than the lame street media picking them for us.

    The County Committee makes our picks.


    Silence Dogood, Redux

  4. ? said at 5:43 pm on December 4th, 2013:

    Who is Bob Walsh?

  5. @ ? said at 5:49 pm on December 4th, 2013:

    Bob Walsh, ex Mayor of Howell.

  6. Charles said at 7:06 pm on December 4th, 2013:

    Bob Walsh? Seriously? No way he gets elected county wide. We need serious people, not the class clown. Meet him and you’ll see — last person we need up there. Maybe Gary is not the strongest person and he should be replaced but NOT by this gas-bag!

  7. Ok, deep breath, folks, said at 7:41 pm on December 4th, 2013:

    let’s all be very careful about criticizing any fellow Republicans in public! Remember, “a house divided against itself cannot stand”… The last thing we need next year is a mini- version of the endless, volatile and UNsuccessfully painful GOP primary process in 2012!.. By the time we got done beating every new candidate down and got down to the last and most lib Romney, the Dems didn’t have to kill themselves much, to kick our butts and win it all, and look how we are suffering under them right now.. Each of these 3 Republicans are good and decent people, with much better RECORDS, than any of the recent lame Dem candidates, or would be better than any thus- far-mentioned Dems at county level,next year.. Agree we really need to collectively cool our jets and take a break,from all the intensity and name- calling, and speculation, til after the new year.. all I know is, 2014 will be very tough for us, top to bottom- focus: “Hollywood Cory “will be on every town ballot, and they want to ride it,all the way down.. I personally want to keep the lib and Dem wrecking balls OUT of Freehold.. Therefore, we need to make some smart political decisions, together as a party, and put up the TWO best, proven VOTE-GETTERS we can find in the spring, to hold the county,and keep it going well.. Word to the wise, please!

  8. @ OK folks said at 8:51 pm on December 4th, 2013:

    Normally I would agree with your thinking, but in 2012 we were dealing with Democrat lies and things being hidden from us both by the Administration and the media.

    I think people already know better in Monmouth County and do split the ticket because the know the quality of life that’s been delivered by Republican Freeholders.

    The problem though, is Bob Walsh himself. He’s a loud mouth bruiser that will campaign negatively. He’s already started off that way. So, it will be Bob Walsh dragging things through the mud.


    Silence Dogood, Redux

  9. He's also said at 10:25 pm on December 4th, 2013:

    a big teddy bear with tons of community service, a sense of family and humor, loyalty,and a big heart- if dressing up for Christmas parties for his town service clubs, to give out gifts to poor kids,is something we Republicans now don’t appreciate, I am stumped to see the dif with cynical, eltist,hate- mongering libs.. if you have a vote and like someone better, swell- but don’t sink to disparage or gossip about people you don’t really know..

  10. And ps: said at 10:31 pm on December 4th, 2013:

    I,for one,will appreciate candidates who aren’t always “politically correct,” are “vanilla”in demeanor, and don’t have a set big enough,to really take on the Dems and that miserable rag of a paper,who consistently hates the Monmouth GOP! Time for a leader and a fighter, given what next year will likely bring..

  11. charles said at 6:41 am on December 5th, 2013:

    Look, we have to Freeholders who have done a good job. Why start a war and have a 3rd candidate take shots at them. It was Walsh that attacked them? Why do that? If you want to challenge them, fine but to attack them? Why? And is Christmas. Why now? As if the D’s won’t later use his words? Lets say Walsh gets one of the two seats as the R nominee — the D’s will suggest that even Walsh said his own running mate was not very good. His coming out party (3rd try I believe) is not off to a good start. He always winds up stepping on his you know what. Nice man but loud, over-bearing and not likely the best person to represent the county.

  12. bill said at 7:49 am on December 5th, 2013:

    That’s good keep calling each other names i’m loving it.

  13. @Charles said at 9:23 am on December 5th, 2013:

    EXCELLENT Point:

    “Lets say Walsh gets one of the two seats as the R nominee — the D’s will suggest that even Walsh said his own running mate was not very good.”

    And, if Walsh should win one of the two nominations, does anyone think the other nominee will play “cumbaya?”

    Walsh is seeding the ground for divisiveness with his own words. He is a blowhard and gasbag.

    Monmouth County County Committee watch this snake. He is not good for our party, and does not bode well for a united ticket.

    Lillian may have her detractors, but do you want to create a situation where the two Freeholder candidates for 2014 do not get along and run as a united team?


    Silence Dogood, Redux

  14. bobwalsh said at 2:50 pm on December 5th, 2013:

    I am very sorry if Art’s message caused anyone grief or harm in any way. Our conversation started out yesterday about me putting a business advertisement on his website that Art and I have been talking about for a few weeks. I had no intention of speaking about political venues when Art called me and had no idea he would be writing a story. I was taken back when someone showed me the story on this website while attending the tree lighting ceremony in Howell last night. Our conversation had turned to politics and though Art disagrees I was under the mindset that it was all off the record. My fault 100% although I believe some was taken out of context it was a lengthy conversation and his comments are what they are.
    For the record I told him I had numerous conversation with the chairman about the process if someone was wanting to run for Freeholder in our county. The last one being on Sunday and from that conversation told Art that after the holidays I would probably sending out a letter to county committee members alerting them of my interest in running for the next term as a Freeholder. I had no intention of our conversation going to print at all and believe me if I did the message would not have come from Art in this venue.
    Numerous reasons were spoken about during our conversation and many conversations I’ve had with many people over the last year. Will there be an opening ,I don’t know but if there is I would, “God willing”, be interested. In no way does this diminish the accomplishments of any of our current or past freeholder boards . I have said many times how great a place Monmouth County is to live in and to have been raised in. One of those reasons is the foresight and actions of those republicans who have governed us for many years and hopefully will for years to come.

    I am proud of my record in government, as a businessman, and more importantly in my personal and family life. I live life to the fullest and have guided myself with the belief that God is watching at all times.. To serve others in many different capacities is truly what is in my heart and to bring joy or relief in any way to someone in need is where I feel the most gratified.
    I have for years been a major supporter of the entire Freeholder Board and will continue to as not only are they competent and well meaning servants of the people but some are what I would call friends. In politics as we all know we don’t have that many.

    The Utmost Sincerity

    Bobby Walsh

    p.s. I will be the elf on December 14th for the less fortunate and special needs children if anyone would like to attend. Dispariging comments about personal things I do to bring joy to children are not appreciated nor warranted.

  15. So the million dollar question said at 3:30 pm on December 5th, 2013:


    Do you intend to run against Lillian and /or Gary?

    Is a 4th contender in the background waiting? If so, how would that change it up?

    Now Ladies and Gents be careful not to push the envelope. In doing do, you may just push a Democrat onto the board.

    Who are you hurting then?

    Yourselves and the Residents of Monmouth County.

    Who are you helping?

    Be Wise, Be True, Be Patient,
    Only Unity Will Bring Wins.
    Divided without clear purpose brings Democrats into the picture to win. Is it worth it ?

    What is ones true motivation to run then if it divides? What will you do differently? What do you bring to the table ? What is your true motivation?

  16. Go BOB said at 4:35 pm on December 5th, 2013:

    I agree with you Mr Walsh freeholders are not elected for life. it is great you help special needs children to bad members of you party do not feel the same calling you a blowhard clown.

  17. Still NOT said at 6:14 pm on December 5th, 2013:

    The kind of Freeholder I want to see.

    Mr. Walsh, you were talking with a member of the blogosphere and as a political person, you should expect stuff like that to be written.

    If you didn’t then you indeed are not circumspect enough to be a Freeholder.

    “Freeholders are not elected for life” Mr. Walsh? Those are comments that are divisive indeed.

    You’ve lost all credibility.

  18. truth hurts said at 6:51 pm on December 5th, 2013:

    Bob seems like a solid guy to me. I agree with fact that Freeholders are not for life. Lets face it. Repubs dont have to be strong to win a Freeholder position in Monmouth County. Its majority R.. Great positive comments Bob. I support you. I like transparent challengers of status quo. Ie. Curley. Best of luck.

  19. 4 Terms said at 8:00 pm on December 5th, 2013:

    Is not “Freeholder For Life,” Mr. Walsh

  20. And Gary said at 8:25 pm on December 5th, 2013:

    Been there 2 years!

  21. Lillianmustgo said at 7:13 am on December 6th, 2013:

    Lillian needs to go. Brings absolutely nothing to the table.

  22. truth hurts said at 7:25 am on December 6th, 2013:

    They should all go after a few years. We need change. The outragous salaries and pensions with the County prosecuter police officers still hasnot been addressed. The $120k to $130k a year salaries and overtime are so outragous and bankrupting our residents. The pensions are even more ridiculous. These people are the new upper class with benefits for life. And you can look in the mirror and call yourself a fiscal conservative??? Pathetic.

  23. Bob Who? said at 9:54 am on December 6th, 2013:

    Walsh? Who the hell is that guy? No one knows who you are buddy, get over yourself.

    I’m all for a changing of the guard when it fits, but from what I’ve heard, this guy is a “loud” and thinks pretty highly of himself.

  24. @so, said at 7:54 am on December 7th, 2013:

    everybody would be running against everyone else.. top 2 amount of votes take the two open slots- simple.

  25. Charles said at 9:09 am on December 7th, 2013:

    Ok, lets try this again. The guy does not even now that he is speaking with a media person and he shoots his mouth off? Really? Is he that not in the know? Nice guy I am sure. Helps needy kids, donates money, etc. There is surely a place for him but at the dais in Freehold? Hold on there cowboy. It is Christmas for goodness sakes and the guys comes our shooting his own team? Not necessary. Walsh certainly thinks of himself as a legend. He comes up a little short.

  26. Trust Issues Here said at 9:58 pm on December 7th, 2013:

    So let’s get the story straight. Howell Republicans wouldn’t run him for council so he divided the Republican vote and ran as an Indpendent with the Democrats to get himself elected in Howell then threw all those that supported him under the bus to go back to the Republicans who didn’t want him in the first place. Now after two tries for Freeholder and losing he once again will try to divide the Republican vote (on the county level now) for his own best interest. What happened to there is no “I” in team. I agree that these positions aren’t for life but it seems this man will throw anyone under the bus for his own good. Seems almost like Deja vu. I don’t think this is the type of representation the Republicans need on any level. How do you trust someone like this?

  27. MoreMonmouthMusings » Blog Archive » Elf on the shelf? said at 3:51 pm on January 27th, 2014:

    […] been almost two months since Howell Councilman Bob Walsh told us he would challenge Republican freeholder incumbents, […]

  28. grace abramov said at 2:13 pm on February 13th, 2014:

    Here we go again..Republican vs Republican and the “D’s” just love it. Remember the saying “united we stand, divided we fall”. I wonder who is behind this? It wouldn’t be the first time a public official switched parties for their own agenda. I know Freeholder Burry works very hard for the causes she believes in and is dedicated to doing the job as Freeholder with grace, dignity and honesty. She deserves our support and loyality.

  29. grace abramov said at 12:47 pm on March 6th, 2014:

    recvd a call from long time county committee person the other day wanting to know on behalf of Walsh if my husband I were still interested in being County Committee delegates to Dstrict #2..the same district he lives in. I said of course we were. I asked “what he isnt satified with just running for Freeholder he wants it all” Then I thought that maybe I misunderstood her request and sent Walsh an e-mail, well that was 2 wks ago and he hasnt responded and I’m waiting. He is only out for himself. I have watched him over the years and I must be blind because I do not see why anyone would want as a representative of this wonderful county