Turnout will be the key in Monmouth elections

Gary Rich and Lillian Burry

Gary Rich and Lillian Burry

The U.S. Senate race on top of the ballot between Senator Cory Booker and GOP nominee Jeff Bell has generated no excitement and little media attention.

The congressional races in CD 4 and CD 6 are not competitive.

The action, and the money, in the 2014 election cycle in Monmouth County has been in the Freeholder race where Democrats statewide have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to get a foothold in the county.

Republican incumbents Lillian Burry and Gary Rich have been fighting off a spirited and well funded challenge from Democrats Larry Luttrell and Giuseppe “Joe’ Grillo. When all the money is counted, the Democrats will probably have outspent the Republicans by more than 2-1.

If the Democrats are successful in picking up even one seat, it will be a historic victory.   No Republican incumbent freeholder has been defeated in a general election in the 20 years I’ve been following Monmouth County politics.  Republicans have forced their own incumbents off the ballot…Ted Narozanik in 2006, Anna Little in 2007 and Bill Barham in 2008, only to see those seats won by Democrats.  But Monmouth County voters have not fired an incumbent Republican freeholder for decades, if ever.

In order to win, even one freeholder seat, the Democrats need a low turnout and discontented Republicans. The uncompetitive U.S. Senate race and Congressional races are favorable to the Monmouth Dems in that regard.  The Dems have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars bloodying up Burry and Rich in order to weaken their support among Republicans. We’ll know tonight if it worked.

Last year in the Special U.S. Senate Election against Booker and Steve Lonegan, 26% of Monmouth County voters turned out.  Lonegan defeated Booker in the county by 9%

In 2011, the last time Burry and Rich were elected, most people forgot there was an election.  Only 27% of the Monmouth voters (only 1800 more than voted last October in the Booker/Lonegan Special Senate Election). Burry and Rich defeated Amy Mallett and William Shea by comfortable 9,000 vote margins.

Democratic Freeholder Candidates Giuseppe "Joe" Grillo and Lawrence Luttrell talked about their arrests and the Lincroft Village Green candidates forum

Democratic Freeholder Candidates Giuseppe “Joe” Grillo and Lawrence Luttrell talked about their arrests and the Lincroft Village Green candidates forum

In the gubernatorial election last November, 42% of Monmouth voters came out and gave the Governor Chris Christie led ticket a huge victory. Republican Freeholders Tom Arnone and Serena DiMaso crushed Democrats Brian Froelich and Larry Luttrell by over 35,000 votes.

2010 was the most recent “mid-term” election. 44% of Monmouth voters turned out in the “Tea Party Wave” anti-ObamaCare election.  Freeholders Rob Clifton (now an Assemblyman)and Tom Arnone each earned over 100,000 votes.  Democrats John D’Amico and Janice Venebles limped to the finish line with roughly 68,000 votes each.

I’m guessing turnout in Monmouth will be lower today than it was last November, but higher than it was last October.  I’m predicting 165,000 voters, a 38.5% turnout.  Burry and Rich will each get roughly 82,000 votes, Luttrell and Grillo will each get roughly 78,000.  Luttrell and Rich will each get less than their running mates because the Asbury Park Press endorsed them.


Posted: November 4th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Elections, Monmouth County | Tags: , , , , | 28 Comments »

28 Comments on “Turnout will be the key in Monmouth elections”

  1. Steve Adams said at 11:00 am on November 4th, 2014:

    Can anyone help me with a history lesson?

    The article has the statement below. Can anyone tell me the circumstances that caused these “forcing off the ballot” decisions?

    “Republicans have forced their own incumbents off the ballot…Ted Narozanik in 2006, Anna Little in 2007 and Bill Barham in 2008, only to see those seats won by Democrats.”


  2. This Old Republican Just Can't Vote for Burry said at 11:00 am on November 4th, 2014:

    I have read today’s APP article. I have watched the Youtube of Ms. Burry regarding Operation Bid Rig. I have read the quotes of Ms. Burry defending and supporting Mr. Cantalupo regarding the Brookdale Scandal; I have watched Ms. Burry attempt to stifle and silent John Curley regarding ethics and other immoral issues on the part of county employees. Lets not forget the Lucas scandal as well.

    And if I recall with Sheriff’s Shaun Golden’s pension scam, she has not called for an investigation–just as she has not called for an investigation into other county ethical lapses.

    I will not vote for her! Some will say, “hold your nose while you vote for her.” NOT ME!

  3. Bob English said at 11:39 am on November 4th, 2014:

    Agree with most of the points that Art made but would not be surprised to see Grillo/Luttrell beat LB. I know plenty of R’s at various levels that would like to see her go and can definitely envision a number of them splitting their Freeholder votes or just voting for Gary Rich.

  4. Proud Republican said at 11:42 am on November 4th, 2014:

    The poster at 11 am is the same person who posts under a zillion names and beats the same old disproven dead horse about Shaun Golden. Plain and simple, this is what happens when a disgruntled lowlife doesn’t get the job he feels entitled to. Only a selfish, narrowminded skunk would want beautiful Monmouth County turned into Hudson County to satiate the grudge he holds.

  5. Proud Republican said at 11:52 am on November 4th, 2014:

    @Bob English – and I know of plenty of Democrats who are fed up with the cesspool that today’s Democrat party has become and wouldn’t vote for those two sleazeballs if they were direct descendants of FDR. Between the vile race-based scare tactics of the Obama national party, to the dishonest faux newspaper locally, to the obsession with being allowed to cheat at the ballot box, the Democrat brand is tanking even among life long democrats. You see, not every Democrat wants a government handout and not every Democrat looks at the hellhole that is Hudson County and says, hmmmm that’s what I want my home to look like. And that’s what democrats are offering at every level of government.

  6. @ Steve said at 12:01 pm on November 4th, 2014:

    Neither Ted or Bill were forced off the tickets. Ted retired after 50 years of dedicated service and Bill opted not to run because his business had several major projects that needed his full attention.

    Going back to Ted if he had run you would have been the first pinhead to scream about him being to old to run just like you are saying about Burry.

  7. @ Stevarino said at 12:04 pm on November 4th, 2014:

    And Anna Little, was well just Anna Little, a loose cannon ball. So, see; we do say no to things we don’t like.

  8. Bob English said at 12:23 pm on November 4th, 2014:

    @Proud Republican…..I believe that the fact that Lillian Burry who supposed to be the MC Freeholder rep on the FMERA board) has been so busy that she has been MIA at 5 of the last 6 monthly meetings (including the last 3 in a row) transcends politics and is good enough reason for Democrats and Republicans alike to send her packing and have a new Freeholder rep on the FMERA board that takes meeting attendance seriously.

    Fort Monmouth redevelopment is of extreme importance to the future of MC….if skipping meetings (including choosing to go to a political fundraiser in October with Geraldo) does not bother you, go ahead and vote for her.

    I want a Freeholder on the FMERA board that will show up for the friggen meetings once a month rather than going to political fundraisers and submitting out of touch letters saying how great everything is going (which they were too embarrassed to read in public since it was received at the same meeting the Hov West/Howard Commons deal was cancelled) …….that’s why I am voting for Grillo and Luttrell…

  9. @ Bob English said at 12:41 pm on November 4th, 2014:

    You’re voting Grillo & Luttrell because you are a solid Democrat. Don’t try and kid people into thinking you were ever going to vote any other

  10. Steve Adams said at 1:03 pm on November 4th, 2014:

    I asked a simple question and I get attacked and called a pinhead???
    Just to be clear, I posted at 11:00 and used my name. I happen to like what I know about Shaun G. He is a very responsive and helpful guy.
    I never said Burry was too old to run either. I don’t know her, as she has been too busy to respond to me.

  11. Steve Adams said at 1:07 pm on November 4th, 2014:

    Art G- Can you share your understanding of this statement, which may be yours? Thanks.

    “Republicans have forced their own incumbents off the ballot…Ted Narozanik in 2006, Anna Little in 2007 and Bill Barham in 2008, only to see those seats won by Democrats.”

  12. Jim Granelli said at 1:10 pm on November 4th, 2014:

    The Monmouth Democrats continue to pull nasty tricks, doing robo calls from a woman named Lisa who is claiming to be a life long Republican, then launching into a hateful tirade blaming every sin in the world on Burry & Rich.

    She claims to have paid for the ad by herself. Interesting.

    Lately, the phone calls seem to be tracking into Marlboro & Middletown.


    Best thing you can do folks?

    Grab 10 of your Republican and right leaning friends and get them to the polls to vote Burry – Rich.

  13. Bob English said at 1:25 pm on November 4th, 2014:

    @ Proud Republican…sorry to burst your bubble but I think very highly of a Republican member on the Freeholder board (Curley and also like Arnone) and have supported local Republicans from time to time….like many people, when it comes to local politics I believe in voting for the best person and not voting according to the label of their party.

    As for my original post, go ahead and vote for LB….that is if you don’t mind her not showing up for FMERA meetings and sounding like she is not very informed on a major FM issues….its not like its that important a position….just the largest redevelopment product in the state of NJ

  14. Bob English said at 1:26 pm on November 4th, 2014:

    on above post:

    “product should have been “project”

  15. @steve said at 1:42 pm on November 4th, 2014:

    Steve Adams is a pinhead and he is really Jim Sage.

  16. Steve Adams said at 2:24 pm on November 4th, 2014:

    I am now told that in addition to being a pinhead, whatever that is; I’m also someone named Jim Sage? I am not. The track record of the anonymous poster continues to go downhill. I am Steve Adams, who I say I am.

  17. And I am Queen Elizabeth. said at 2:49 pm on November 4th, 2014:

    Because I say so. Today.

    Question for Bob English;

    Aren’t you really talking about President B. Obama? Because he’s the fella whose out golfing and attending lavish fundraisers while the world falls apart.

    Please send a printed copy of your complaints off to his office right away. Maybe you can help him push through his self-imposed state of denial and remind him that madness is overtaking our world.

    Yours Truly,
    Queen Lizzy (for a day)

  18. Art Gallagher said at 2:59 pm on November 4th, 2014:


    I thought @Steve was going me a pinhead, but the post was addressed to you. Whatever.

    I’m glad you asked about the history because it addresses, to an extent, your concern about ethics in the Monmouth GOP. The history goes back longer than I wrote about above.

    Going back 10-12 years, before Operation Bid Rig, when the Asbury Park Press still had influence, they did an ongoing series entitled “Club Monmouth” which exposed excesses in county government at the time.

    One of those excesses was the Freeholders dining at taxpayers expense on meeting nights. Former Freeholder Ed Stominski was quoted in the APP defending the practice and saying something to the effect of “What do they want us to do? Eat spaghetti?” That earned Stominski the moniker “Spaghetti Eddie.”

    The Monmouth GOP leadership (in)famously met at the private home of Judith Stanley Coleman and decided not to renominate Stominski. Matawan Mayor Rob Clifton was selected as his replacement.

    Stominski waged a primary battle to retain his spot on the GOP ticket and lost. I didn’t include his “replacement” in the story above because, technically, the primary voters replaced him.

    While Stominski was gone, the back room nature of his removal from the ticket led to a revolt by the grassroots county committee which eventually resulted on Chairman Bill Dowd’s ouster by Fred Niemann in June of 2004.

    Niemann inherited a Party in turmoil with the shit about to hit the fan. Harry Larrison announced his retirement do to his failing health. Bill Barham, Larrison’s choice as his replacement, defeated Keyport Mayor John Merla as Larrison’s replacement at a Party convention.

    In February of 2005, the morning after the Lincoln Day Dinner, U.S. Attorney Chris Christie’s Operation Bid Rig arrests were made.

    Either on his own volition or at Niemann’s urging, or a combination thereof, Freeholder Director Tom Powers, who inherited Larrison’s gavel, chose not to run again in the wake of Bid Rig. In March of 2005 at a nominating convention, Barham was nominated by acclimation for a full term on the Freeholder Board and Lillian Burry beat out several other contenders

    In the wake of Operation Bid Rig, Barham and Burry were elected with a big assist from the Asbury Park Press who urged voters to “bullet vote” for Independent Candidate Brian Unger. 18,698 people voted. The Republicans eeked out a 2000 vote victory.

    At that same convention, with Niemann’s support, Freeholder Amy Handlin challenged Assemblyman Joe Azzolina’s nomination and won. Handlin beat Azzolina in the primary.

    With Handlin off the Freeholder Board and in the legislature, there was a statutorily required convention of the county committee to select her replacement on the Board.

    A Republican civil war of sorts developed as different factions from around the county sought control and were undermining Niemann who was instituting reforms, maybe too many reforms too fast, but was perceived to be favoring one candidate, Howell Mayor Joe DiBella, over the other six candidates competing to replace Handlin.

    Highlands Councilwoman Anna Little sold herself as a reformer who couldn’t be bossed. She beat DiBella on the second ballot of the raucous convention and immediately started a public feud with Niemann over fund raising. Little also battled with Barham, who was now the Freeholder Director.

    Not long after the convention that elected Little, Niemann announced that Freeholder Ted Naroznik would have to “screen” or be interviewed to be renominated to run in 2006. Narozanik was furious and told Niemann. He told Niemann to pound salt and retired. Narozanik was much loved and was not at all implicated in Bid Rig.

    This led to yet another raucous convention in early 2006 to select Narozanik’s replacement. The “civil war” escalated as did the anti-Niemann sentiment. There as a perception that Niemann pushed out Narozanik in favor of DiBella to whom he had promised the seat that Little won at the eariler convention.

    “Shit show” is an polite term for that second convention. The rules required that the winner have 50% plus one of the total. DiBella won the first ballot but not by enough to be nominated. On the second ballot Terence Wall withdrew and threw his support behind Andrew Lucas. Lucas was nominated and went on to lose to Barbara McMorrow in November. Many convention voters left after the first ballot.

    Niemann chose not to seek a second term as Chairman in 2006. He was replaced by Adam Puharic.

    Puharic and Little battled worse than Niemann and Little did. Little retained he council seat in Highlands, which was legal at the time. Puharic wanted her to give it up, which she finally did in September, after it was too late for her Highlands seat to be up for election in November.

    Little retained her seat in the November 2006 general election, which was a heavily anti-Republican mid-term election year. As mentioned above. Lucas lost to McMorrow for what had been Narozanik’s seat.

    Little’s short tenure on the Freeholder Board was fraught with turmoil. She fought with both Puharic and Barham. Puharic over her renomination and Barham over the renovations of the Hall of Records. It was a mess.

    Little gave up the fight for her renomination rather than comply with Puharic’s rules which required each candidate to pay $1000 for a background check. Marlboro Councilman Jeff Cantor was nominated to replace Little. He lost to Democrat John D’Amico in 2007 and later switched his Party affiliation to Democrat.

    The commenter above who said that Barham was not pushed out was technically correct. Barham was badly damaged poltically by his battles with Little over the Hall of Record renovations. Barham had business interests with the contractor performing the work. Little and the APP were relentless in criticizing him. Barham announced he would not seek a second term. Puharic took credit for pushing him out.

    It was a very messy 5 years for the Monmouth GOP

  19. A lesson to be learned: said at 3:22 pm on November 4th, 2014:

    we Republicans are often our own worst enemies.. perhaps it’s because we have more talent than the other side, perhaps we have too many impatient, eager beavers, who want to be in- charge, sometimes at the expense if reason, teamwork, and winning the damn election, perhaps both.. I believe you’d have to go back to 1983, when incumbent Freeholders Frank Self, former Middletown nayor and Clem Sommers, former Oceanport mayor, lost their re-election to D’Amico and John Villapiano, over confusion regarding how many medals Self had won flying in the VietNam war- it took 2 more years to re- take the board majority with Ted Narozanick, in ’85: those were wild years, too.. It would honestly and clearly be a travesty, if Monmouth began going downhill toward north Jersey liberalism,because of a well- funded bunch of overblown lies. Well, we will see in a few hours, if our county electorate now votes simply on slander and emotion, or recognizes the great job Republicans, (with all their battles and faults,)have done over the last 50 years, to make Monmouth one of the 33 best- run and loveliest counties in America!

  20. Bob English said at 3:26 pm on November 4th, 2014:

    @ Queen Elizabeth….Since you raised the issue, how come no crazy nutty posts about the previous President when he was talking 3x as much vacation time as Obama has?? Or does not being allowed to take vacation or play golf only apply to Obama? Is working on a ranch okay but not playing a round of golf???

    The election season can not be over fast enough to put an end the craziness

  21. trouble in marlboro said at 3:31 pm on November 4th, 2014:

    i keep telling you all this is johnny hornick , to the max. first the shop freehold, thats all grillo has? what a numb nuts. then republicans for democrats, johnny used that in marlboro against kleinburg. then ethics johnny has got to be kidding he’s the most unethical politician i know, with all his lies and half truths. like this campaign, burry and rich handed lucas 1.2 million. come on the county’s share was less then 300,000 dollars the state paid the bulk of it, and johnny is the big open space guy , why is this so bad? because he’s full of crap. and wants to import essex,middlesex,bergen,etc. he’s tapped out marlboro and de cotis needs to be fed, so he had to branch out. and keep the machine going and grow his law firm. we cannot afford johnny to get his foot hold here or there will not be a sewer or water auth left. thats what he did first thing when he got to office, took over a well run water auth, gave de cotis 800,000 for changing the name on the bonds, spent all the money, and just last month borrowed 22 million dollars to fix the water auth over 40 years.. and the engineers and lawyers are loving it. how do you all think he was able to have hundreds of thousands of dollars wheeled into monmouth to run two no loads like lunging larry and no pay the ticket grillo? and guess what? johnny owes them and they will want to be paid back in full, so just watch if they get a foot hold in the county next year will be twice as bad, so if you like lillian or not you would be stupid not to vote for her and let johnny and de cotis get their foot in the door. so call a friend or stand on a corner of a mall(like johnny has a kid now in front of dunkin donuts) and get out the republican vote before its too late.. FYI this just in i got a robo call in marlboro from a( erin kaiser ) that claims to be a long time republican that’s sick of the corruption.But guess what folks it’s just another lie from johnny and the crew. She is a teacher from the teachers union, NJEA. I just hope the people are smart enough to see thought this B.S. now go and vote and bring a friend, don,t let johnny win or we all lose.

  22. If you can't see the dif said at 3:46 pm on November 4th, 2014:

    between when a president OWNS his main vacation spot, versus tens of millions spent by this one in the most top- drawer of rentals, resorts, etc., with huge entourages and multiple flights ,accompanying the fam, the mom, and all the friends at taxpayer expense, well, no wonder you favor the free-spending Dems! Seriously!!

  23. Bob English said at 5:23 pm on November 4th, 2014:

    @if you cant……the same travel rules have been in effect for family travel (regarding expenses) since Reagan was President. Hope you don’t stay up at night worrying about “the mom” traveling, lol.

    By the way, what does all of this have to do with a Freeholder that has not shown up for 5 out of the last 6 FMERA meetings where she supposed to be the MC representative on that board???

  24. Queen Lizzy said at 5:31 pm on November 4th, 2014:

    Ooh, Bob English what a nasty, spiteful response!
    Who spilled out your Cheerios? Stress much?

    You know full well what the difference is. No one is pleased with what is happening in our world today. No one.

    No one sane, that is.
    So play nice young man or it’s going to be a very long evening.

    Yours Truly,
    Queen Lizzy (for a day)

  25. Steve Adams said at 5:36 pm on November 4th, 2014:

    Art, Thank you for the background. I remember some of it, but certainly not as much of the big picture that you do.

    When Little and Barham were feuding, was it because Freeholder Barham was a partner with Ben Harvey, while Ben Harvey had his name on the Hall of Records contract; or because Larrison had “allocated” the project to his family friend and godson, just like the Freeholder seat was intended to be “passed on” to Barham?

    I think Ben Harvey and Barham also got the contract to build “Larrison Hall” at Brookdale. Anyone know for sure?

    If any of my recollection is wrong I’ll gladly accept a correction.

  26. Middletowner said at 6:02 pm on November 4th, 2014:

    Bob, Obama’s vacation days are nothing compared to his fundraising days. He’s spent an average 70 days every year away on fundraising trips (1 in 5 days).

  27. There you go again. said at 6:06 pm on November 4th, 2014:

    Spewing the old lies and assumptions as fact. How do you spell low bidder on a competitive bid contract? And why won’t you give the woman any credit for the many YEARS of attendance and input at the former FMERPa, now FMERA meetings? What part of being director of the board, who receives countless requests for attendance, hosting, presenting at non- profits, various county agency functions, and towns- and she always sends a staffer to bring back reviews of any missed meetings, don’t you comprehend? Would like to see anyone keep up with her schedule snd pace as well! With any luck, the relentless badgering and drubbing of this proven successful, longtime public servant, will have proven to be a waste of time and money!

  28. No Bob English said at 7:34 pm on November 4th, 2014:

    There’s no voter fraud