French to retire as Monmouth County Clerk

M. Claire French

M. Claire French

Monmouth County Clerk M. Claire French will retire in March.

French told MMM in a phone interview that she will decide by the end of this week whether her retirement will be effective on March 1 or March 31.

Appointed to fill the vacancy created by Jane Clayton’s retirement in 1997, French was elected to four 5 year terms.  Had she completed her current term she would have served the residents of Monmouth County through the end of 2017.

French, 77, started her career in public service as a member of the Wall Township Committee where she served two terms as Mayor.  She has held either elected or appointed office for 35 years serving as at every level of New Jersey government.  French was the first Chair of the Monmouth County Improvement Authority, was Vice Chair of the Local Finance Board and has served on various regional authorities.  She is a Eucharistic Minister at Holy Innocents Church in Neptune City.

French said the plans to continue her education at Brookdale Community College and pursue new challenges.  “There is so much I want to do,” she said.  She will stay involved in politics by working for candidates, “good people of either party” who will work for the best interest of the people and break the partisan gridlock she says is harming government on every level.

As one of three Constitutional  county offices along with Sheriff and Surrogate, vacancies in the office of County Clerk are filled by an appointment by the Governor in consultation with the party leadership of the departing office holder, French, a Republican, said.  The gubernatorial appointee would run for a full five year term in November.

Christine Giordano Hanlon is widely rumored to be GOP Chairman Shaun Golden’s recommendation to the Governor to fill the vacancy.  A attorney with the firm Archer & Greiner, Hanlon is the Deputy Borough Attorney in Tinton Falls, the Municipal Prosecutor in Atlantic Highlands and a Commissioner on the Monmouth County Board of Elections.  A member of Governor Christie’s transition team in 2009, Hanlon is a GOP State Committeewoman and a Regional Vice Chair of the Monmouth GOP.  Hanlon was nominated by Christie to the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, but like many of Christie’s appointments, not confirmed by the Democratic State Senate.

Neither Hanlon nor Golden were available for comment when we called.

Posted: January 5th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County | Tags: , , , , , | 19 Comments »

19 Comments on “French to retire as Monmouth County Clerk”

  1. Bob English said at 3:46 pm on January 5th, 2015:

    A job requirement should be experience in overseeing a ballot counting opperation on election night to be able to prevent the problems which have plagued the county in recent years.

  2. Poor Bob said at 3:51 pm on January 5th, 2015:

    He just had to get a dig in on one fine woman a great County Clerk.

  3. Scott Neuman said at 5:03 pm on January 5th, 2015:

    Ms French is still named in a ballot fraud case sitting in Trenton waiting to be heard.

  4. @Scott said at 5:14 pm on January 5th, 2015:

    Spare us your nonsense, please. Another disgruntled A-Teamer, I take it? What a joke.

    Thanks for your service Claire, enjoy your retirement.

  5. REPORT: 5-Term Monmouth Clerk French to Retire – The Save Jersey Blog said at 5:19 pm on January 5th, 2015:

    […] the word from Art Gallagher over at MMM, Save […]

  6. Nick F said at 5:27 pm on January 5th, 2015:

    Thank you for your service to our county Claire! You will be missed!

  7. Stop being petty, said at 6:11 pm on January 5th, 2015:

    the lady, as a very popular politician, did a great job, and most of all, brought HUGE numbers to the county tickets the years she ran: thereby, greatly assisting anyone else on the ballot with her- as the conga line of qualified, “deserving”- ask them, they’ll tell ya how deserving they are- candidates forms, let the bright minds in charge hope and pray they can get someone as popular a vote- getter and good candidate as Claire.. and, one who can help raise the necessary funds,to get both Republican county candidates elected in this, a very low- turnout year. Good luck, good health, and thanks for your service, Claire.

  8. Jim Granelli said at 6:42 pm on January 5th, 2015:

    As they say, “if you can’t say anything nice,” don’t say anything at all;” especially with regards to a much loved and respected person such as Claire French.

    Thank you for your years of service Mrs. French.

  9. Bob English said at 7:17 pm on January 5th, 2015:

    @poor Bob….Touchy aren’t we, lol.

    Actually it was the Sherriff who commented on the Counties past problems on election nights…..From an article after the election:

    Monmouth County Republican chairman Shaun Golden called the computer glitch that delayed the Nov. 4 election results until the next morning “unacceptable” for local residents and “an embarrassment” to the county itself. “We’ve had problems in the past as well,” said Golden, who is also the county’s sheriff, to the Board of Chosen Freeholders Thursday night. “If there is any time for accountability in government, it is now.”

    So I will stick with my original comment.

  10. Juan Malave said at 7:45 pm on January 5th, 2015:

    Mrs. French is one of the kindest, nicest people I have ever met.
    she represented us all with dignity and great pride, she will be missed.
    Thank you for all you have done for all of Monmouth County Mrs. French, enjoy your retirement. God Bless! Juan.

  11. Charlie Cocuzza said at 8:02 pm on January 5th, 2015:

    Claire, it has been an honor to work with you and know you for the last 15+ years. You have served Monmouth County well and stand as a role model for what a “Public Servant” should be. Always carrying yourself with class and unquestionable integrity. I will forever cherish our friendship and wish you all of the happiness and best wishes in your future endeavors. God Bless You!

  12. Poor Bob said at 8:31 pm on January 5th, 2015:

    Not touchy at all, but you just made my case:

    “Actually it was the Sherriff who commented on the Counties past problems on election nights…..From an article after the election: ”

    If that’s your feeling, why tag Mrs. French with it then, other than to be mean?

  13. Oh, gosh, said at 9:30 pm on January 5th, 2015:

    I don’t know, just a thought: let’s just wonder whether all this hasn’t been to push out anyone who has been around a while,and move all the “inner sanctum” in.. Sure hope that a lot of thought toward future elections, and how to keep in the “win column”for the sake of the party, goes into this choice. And, hope it comes with the advice and consent of the elected party faithful i.e., county committee, who put these people in charge.

  14. @ Oh gosh said at 10:08 pm on January 5th, 2015:

    What, someone wants to to retire at 77, so, you create a conspiracy theory that that the County Clerk is being pushed out?

    There are just too many sick people out there.

    This fine servant deserves better than some of the comments here.

    SMH 🙁

  15. Oh really?? said at 10:49 pm on January 5th, 2015:

    Go ahead, resort to your usual babyish name- calling- was fine to run the elder ladies at 74 and 77 for the votes, huh? But hey, why not solve the riddle, and ask them in charge? Also, try / ask some towns, that maybe have been intimidated/ threatened already, with not getting the line, being replaced, etc.,if they don’t “tow the line”..How embarassing was it for a decades- long public servant to get embarrassed in public and print,by a fellow constitutional officer, who’s now your chair? How would you feel? Don’t some people pay attention, or get reality? Look in the mirror, geniuses- there’s loyalty and humanity lacking,in what you see back.

  16. Marlboro_man said at 10:57 am on January 6th, 2015:

    Marlboro is one of Momnouth counties largest towns and is the fastest growing, enjoying recession proof growth. The Marlboro Republican party also strongly backed Chairman Sean Golden for county leader. They should be listened to.
    Here in Marlboro we have a man who stands poised to serve if chosen and that man is Captain Shital Rajan. Captain Rajan knows what is good for the community because he has his fnger on the pulse of the community. And he will think outside the box.The party should think outside the box, the clerk doesn’t have to be a woman, and make Captain Shital Rajan the county clerk!

  17. @Marlboro Man said at 12:55 pm on January 6th, 2015:

    I agree..why does it have to be a woman. However, Shaun Golden does not like Marlboro or Shital Rajan.

    Marlboro has been a source of headaches for Golden. It was once a huge Republican town that all of a sudden turned Democrat.

    Go figure, but I am sure the corruption and conviction of key Republicans in that town did not help things.

    The municipal party chair Chris Dean is a wrecking ball. Because of his “leadership,” the local club dissolved due to lack of interest.

    Shameful what happened there.

  18. Monmouth Girl said at 11:37 am on January 7th, 2015:

    Marlbor should be listened too?! Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!


    Everyone of your “Republican” Councilmembers are now Democrats! Great leadership.

    Shital Rajan – ha ha ha ha ha! He back ultra liberal freeholder Amy Mallet over Republican Lillian Burry.

    Just go away Marlboro and get your own house in order before you start demanding things.

  19. Edith T. Nowels said at 9:50 pm on January 8th, 2015:

    It’s been said, ‘one of the best, if not the best run Clerk’s office in the State’ … it now appears that was Claire’s biggest mistake. In today’s world, meritorious performance is rewarded by ominous energy for change … once again … not in the interest of Monmouth County Residents. The silent’s silence is deafening!