Winners: The Battle for Monmouth

The 2014 Monmouth County election is in the books.

After the most intense campaign in memory funded by out of county Democrats, Monmouth Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal has nothing but IOUs to show for his duplicitous efforts.

There are literally hundreds of winners in this campaign county wide.  From candidates making their first bid for elected office, to the seasoned pros defending their records, to the selfless volunteers who knocked on doors and made over 50,000 phone calls to voters. We congratulate the entire Monmouth Republican team.

On every championship team there are stars who get the accolades on behalf of the entire team.  Here are five special mentions from this hard fought victory:

The top Winners of the Battle for Monmouth:


Lillian G. Burry. Burry has been elected county-wide 4 times. Three of those four elections were hard fought.  None had the benefit of up ballot coattails. In 2005 she prevailed despite the anti-Republican sentiment generated by Operation Bid Rig.  In 2008, Burry prevailed as the top vote getter over the Obama wave that saw an unprecedented Democratic turnout.   The low turnout race of 2011 was relatively easy.  In the campaign that just concluded, Burry’s integrity was maliciously maligned by Gopal and his henchmen armed with hundreds of thousands of Democratic money wheeled into the county from Trenton, Essex, Hudson, Union and Middlesex counties.

Burry stood tall and fought hard.  She is a proven winner, in politics and life. A role model for women and men, Burry embraces the toughest challenges and prevails with honor.

Shaun Golden

Shaun Golden.  Already a rising star after his huge reelection victory as Monmouth County Sheriff in 2013, Golden risked his career in taking on Chairman John Bennett last spring in-order to lead beyond the status quo .

Bennett boasted of his fundraising prowess in his campaign to retain the Chairmanship, but left Golden with an overdrawn check book on June 10.

Undaunted, Bennett’s turd was just another challenge for Golden to overcome.

Shaun has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in the face of adversity by doing what he said he would do. He assembled a strong team by appointing an unprecedented four Regional Vice Chairs. He empowered municipal Party leaders and candidates, expanded the Party’s demographic diversity, established a strong social media presence and fed the rank and file when they came out to work. He raised money and got the job done without wasteful spending. When all the money is counted the Democrats will have outspent the Republicans 3 or 4 to 1.

If the hapless NJGOP is ever to gain traction in the State, it will take a leader like Shaun Golden to make it happen.

rich20photoGary Rich. As the top vote getter in his two Freeholder elections, Rich has to be called winner. Unfortunately, Rich suffers from a perception within the Party’s leadership that he has skated by on the backs of others.

In a OpEd published here and in the triCityNews last September, Rich said, The hardest thing about being in politics is the politics

“The hardest thing about being in politics is the politics. Truthfully, it’s not something I have much of a tolerance for. I’m an ideas man. I see a problem and I want to fix it. I like logic and honesty, which may sound like an odd thing to have to say, but you’d be surprised how many people these days seem to lack both completely or just don’t have the time for them. What I don’t have time for is games—they serve no one and they have no place in serving the public.”

Rich doesn’t lack for logic or honesty.  But there are other critical functions of politics he doesn’t seem to like that he will need to embrace if he is ever going to be considered a leader among leaders.  Gary needs to step up his engagement and relationship building skills and his fund raising ability.  Gary flew under the radar after being elected in 2011, only to engage in political activity after facing a challenge from Bob Walsh for his renomination.  If he returns to his quiet and reserved ways, he is likely to be challenged again in 2017, should be seek a third term.

IMG_7736_outside__8x10_R_Susan Cohen and Jack McNaboe.  At ground zero for the Andrew Lucas scandal, the Manalapan Township Committee members survived an onslaught of out of county Democratic money (Cohen estimates that the Democrats spent $70K against her and McNaboe) and their own tactical campaign stumbles to be reelected by a comfortable margin.  As with Burry and Rich on the county level, Cohen and McNaboe proved that honesty and getting the job done for constituents trumps deceitful campaign rhetoric.

Check back later for the Losers.  


Posted: November 5th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Elections, Gary Rich, Lillian Burry, Manalapan, Monmouth County, Shaun Golden | Tags: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

12 Comments on “Winners: The Battle for Monmouth”

  1. Middletowner said at 11:48 am on November 5th, 2014:

    What about Linda winning a Red Bank seat??
    Were there other seats that changed places in the county?

  2. While it is fine said at 2:50 pm on November 5th, 2014:

    to be continually thrilled that Mr. Golden wrenched the chairmanship from Bennett, in his pursuit of both revenge for the previous chair election,and obvious self-positioning for runs at higher offices, the least one can do is be a bit more unifying and gracious a winner, now..and, at least stop the whining and be more accurate: he was actually left far more than Bennett was left: Bennett left his last Gala’s 40 grand, (of the over 600 grand he raised in two years,) equally divided between Lillian and Gary’s accounts, which was promptly sucked up in the summer, with more demands placed upon them,to raise more of their own money. It is frankly very mean and unproductive now, to continue to beat up the prior chair: it weakens the organization, and distracts from the tasks of beating the DEMS! Anyone who has worked for several chairs over the years, can come up with each one’s strengths and weaknesses, and whether one liked the individual or not- to continue to go back and criticize, repeatedly,is simply not relevant or helpful! There will be many who have their personal favs from this cycle, am sure. All those candidates on our side, who fought the good fight, and busted their tails, are winners to me- in this current climate of vicious personal attacks and vendettas, one must have a thick skin and nerves of steel, to even place one’s name on a ballot!! So can we please, just savor all the collective Republican successes at every level, and pray that our new GOP Congress and Senate can begin to repair our broken, frightened, divided,and indebted country? And, tomorrow, we must begin again to plan and work hard for more wins, next year! Because, if we really believe that Republicans have the better ideas on governing, the “evil” of liberalism is always there, and the work is never done!

  3. There are bigger issues said at 4:06 pm on November 5th, 2014:

    @”While it’s fine”,
    Let it go. Enjoy the day and get some rest.

    There are bigger issues of concern on the horizon.

  4. Bennett's "Turd"??? said at 4:10 pm on November 5th, 2014:

    What does that mean?

  5. Name (goes here) said at 6:53 pm on November 5th, 2014:

    @Bennett’s Turd,

    Umm … well,…. maybe it was, uh …. actually, ….. ….. …… actually, I really don’t have anything to add or say.

    I just really wanted to type “@Bennett’s Turd” and see it in print.

  6. Tom Szymanski said at 9:31 pm on November 5th, 2014:

    @While it’s fine…the results across the County speak for themselves. Time to move on

  7. MoreMonmouthMusings » Blog Archive » Losers: The Battle for Monmouth said at 10:32 pm on November 5th, 2014:

    […] morning we gave you the winners from the Battle for Monmouth.   Without further adieu, the […]

  8. It sure is. said at 6:33 am on November 6th, 2014:

    The fledgling effort of 2014 left much to be desired. Looking forward to more planning, communication, coordination and funding, down the road. More loyalty to and teamwork for the candidates and a well- executed plan, will go a long way in amping up our numbers and creating more unity, next go- round.

  9. @ It sure is said at 9:16 am on November 6th, 2014:

    Not sure how you get “left much to be desired” as I am not sure if you volunteered any time because volunteers are the ones that help make sure things are well executed. Without them, nothing happens.

    From what I saw during my hours at the County HQ; were volunteers pounding the phones, volunteers assembling and putting signs 5000 County signs alone signs out, volunteers helping with mail.

    If for one was proud of what I saw and sad that I couldn’t do more.

    And the result? Despite the slimy Democrats throwing everything including the kitchen sink at us; lies and all, we won by a comfortable 8000 vote margin.

    Sure, everything can be better; but campaigns at best are controlled chaos, with things changing every day.

    As to loyalty to the candidates, what I saw at the office was 110% loyalty. The disloyalty seems to come from anonymous posters on this board as well as so called Republicans like Erin what’s her name from Middletown who made that lying phone call.

    Nothing is perfect, especially campaigns.

    Jim Granelli

  10. Thank You to all The Winners said at 1:14 pm on November 6th, 2014:

    Congratulations to all the winners and to all those who worked so hard to get them there!

    Thank you for continuing to make beautiful Monmouth County one of the best counties to live in, in the entire state of New Jersey! 🙂

  11. @JG, with all due respect, said at 4:19 pm on November 6th, 2014:

    never said anything against the volunteers: said the actual campaign plan for a large, important county race,against well-funded, well- executed personal attacks and lies was lacking,in several key areas: anyone who has planned, financed, coordinated and executed such campaigns- and I have- knows the difference,and what I am talking about. So do the leaders who flew by the seat of their pants at several key junctures know what I mean,too. Am hopeful next one is much better,on several fronts. As far as Dep. Dir. Rich is concerned, many consider him to be the top voice of reason on that board: he listens, learns, questions, investigates, and then decides what he thinks is best. He is measured in tone, professional, and a true gentleman to work with and for, by many accounts of those who are there with him. Rob Clifton was the former “voice of reason,” many times during difficult situations, in the old days of his tenure, there. Mr. Rich seems to be of that tone and quality- IMHO,we are fortunate he was the top- vote- getter, and, he is proving himself to be into the job and up to the task. Best of luck and congrats to him, Lillian,and all the 2014 winners, but now the work continues: let’s keep the wins coming, so we all will benefit from the better leadership!

  12. MoreMonmouthMusings » Blog Archive » A Different Brand of Politics said at 6:00 pm on November 7th, 2014:

    […] Art Gallagher thinks I’m a winner. Well, sort of. And while I appreciate the (backhanded) compliment, I’d like to pose a few items of food for thought. […]