Monmouth GOP Honors Claire French

Monmouth County Clerk M. Clair French address the Monmouth GOP convention. Chairman Shaun Golden in background. photo by Art Gallagher

Monmouth County Clerk M. Clair French address the Monmouth GOP convention. Chairman Shaun Golden in background. photo by Art Gallagher

An impressive crowd of over 400 Monmouth Republican County Committee members gathered on Saturday morning to nominate their candidates for State Assembly, County Clerk and Freeholder.  The size of the crowd was impressive not only because of the weather but because the results of the convention were a foregone conclusion as there were no challengers to the incumbent Assembly Members, Freeholder or Governor Chris Christie’s nominee for County Clerk.

Free of any competitive tensions, the mood at Colts Neck High School was upbeat, friendly and proud among the grassroots leaders who came out for Chairman Shaun Golden first nominating convention.  Freeholder Deputy Director Serena DiMaso noted both the size and enthusiasm of the crowd. “This crowd is almost as large as last year’s convention when we had a competition for the freeholder nominations,” DiMaso said, “We’re in really great shape and that is a testament to Shaun’s leadership.”

Golden started the convention with an acknowledgement of the grass-root volunteer committee members who made over 100,000 phone calls and knocked on 25,000 doors in last years hard fought victory for Freeholders Lillian Burry and Gary Rich that overcame a 4-1 spending advantage and a dishonest negative message from Vin Gopal’s Monmouth County Democrats.  Before introducing this years candidates, Golden acknowledged his leadership team of Vice Chairs Tony Fiore of Middletown, Christine Hanlon of Ocean Township, Rob Nicastro of Howell and Mary DeSarno of Wall.

Golden emphasized the demographic diversity of the Monmouth GOP with a recognition of Howell Municipal Chairman Juan Malave, the leader of the Party’s diversity council which produced a bi-lingual mail piece in the last election.  Golden touted the Monmouth GOP leadership in empower women to hold elected office.  Lt Governor Kim Guadagno, Senator Jennifer Beck, Assemblywomen Angelini, Casagrande  Handlin, Surrogate Rosemarie Peters, Freeholders Burry and Serena DiMaso were all acknowledge by Golden, as were several women who won municipal elections throughout Monmouth County last November.

IMG_2533 (640x418)

The Monmouth County Republican Committee acknowledging Clerk M. Claire French

County Clerk M. Claire French, who is retiring next month after 18 years as Clerk, was the woman who stole the show, as Golden interrupted the introduction of candidates to acknowledge at her  “last convention as an elected official.” Freeholder Tom Arnone acknowledged the difference French has made in his career, and that of so many others with her nurturing support as the crowd spontaneously rose in a sustained standing ovation for French.

Upon arriving at the podium, French immediately asked the crowd to be seated, holding up a tissue saying, “please don’t make me use this,” to wipe her tears.

French acknowledge all of the volunteers who worked to elect Republicans in Monmouth County during her decades long career and said she was going to “spend time with my sweetheart who is my husband!”  She express he happiness over the unity of the Party and Golden’s leadership and her love for each of the freeholders. French said she would stay involved in public service by encouraging and nurturing candidates and that she would work to elect a woman from Monmouth County to New Jersey’s highest office. ” I wonder who that could be,” she said without mentioning Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno by name.

John Curley’s Joe Biden moment

In addition to the outpouring of love for French, the highlights of the morning were provided by Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande and Freeholder John Curley.

Casagrande told a story of a constituent named Karen, a woman who works two jobs to make ends meet and who visits Casagrande’s Freehold legislative office twice per month. “She works in healthcare during the day at at a restaurant at night,” Casagrande said, “She’s afraid of losing her house.  I don’t know how she finds the time to read the newspapers to find out what is going on, but every couple of weeks she comes into my office to discuss issues she wants me to fight for in Trenton.  We’re here to represent the Karens of New Jersey.  Not the special interests, not the corporations or unions.  We’re doing this job for the Karens.”

In his usual fire and brimstone free association, Curley had something of a Joe Biden moment.  “M. Claire French,” Curley exclaimed, “I just got off the phone with Congressman Chris Smith and he’s secured federal funding!  Tomorrow night at the Lincoln Day Dinner he’s bringing a check.  We’re putting Claire’s bust on Mount Rushmore!”    A moment later, Curley said he was looking forward to following behind his running mate Christine Hanlon while knocking on doors during the campaign.

The convention closed with all the candidates being nominated by acclamation.

The nominees are:

For State Assembly

11th District: Mary Pat Angelini and Caroline Casagrande

12th District: Ron Dancer and Rob Clifton

13th District: Declan O’Scanlon and Amy Handlin

30th District: Dave Rible and Sean Kean

For Monmouth County Clerk:  Christine Giordano Hanlon

For Monmouth County Freeholder: John Curley



Posted: February 22nd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

8 Comments on “Monmouth GOP Honors Claire French”

  1. Wow said at 7:29 am on February 22nd, 2015:

    For a couple of hours, Colts Neck was the epicenter of “Christy Republicans.”

  2. Jim Granelli said at 9:34 am on February 22nd, 2015:

    Wonderful woman, accomplished and well loved.

    That’s why I have to say the following to Mr. Cowardly Wow.

    There is a saying, “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all,” especially when the headline was about honoring Claire French.

    Instead, your hate got the best of you. How sad.

    You know, sooner or later there will be a reason and a way to expose all of the cowardly frauds exemplified by your comment.

  3. jrsmith said at 9:50 am on February 22nd, 2015:

    Claire French is a class act.

  4. Tim H said at 10:12 am on February 23rd, 2015:

    Is it true the Sheriff pushed her out and demanded her resignation after the whole election data fiasco? Heard he forced her out. Any truth to that?

  5. @Tim said at 10:39 am on February 23rd, 2015:

    would you be surprised? He conducted a secret “takedown” of John Bennett to create a vacancy for himself. It only stands to reason he would push out Claire to create a vacancy for his “co-architect.”

    These November elections should be interesting. I hear Golden does not intend to support Curley in the future–even though I can’t confirm that.

  6. Art Gallagher said at 11:11 am on February 23rd, 2015:

    Tim H- No, it is not true that Shaun pushed Claire out. 1) There would be no way to do that as she was elected to a term that goes another 2 years and 2) At both the Monmouth GOP convention on Saturday and at the Lincoln Day Dinner last night, Claire strongly endorsed Shaun’s leadership of the Party.

    @Tim. You’re talking to yourself again if you heard that Golden does not support Curley. On the contrary, Golden thwarted a challenge to Curley.

  7. Jim Granelli said at 12:38 pm on February 23rd, 2015:

    @ @Tim

    So, why spread a rumor that you can’t confirm other than to damage the Party.

    And if the “takedown” were so secret, how come there was an election where the Chairman won by 8 points or so?

    If you are Republicans, let’s get back to winning elections folks.

    But if you are a liberal, Jon Salonis or Vin Gopal posting anonymously; here only to spread scurilous rumors in a flaccid attempt to damage Monmouth County Republicans; “we ain’t buying what you are selling.”

    “We have your number” and last night we were even more united.

  8. @Tim said at 10:52 pm on February 23rd, 2015:

    The takedown was so “secret” that MMM posted about it almost daily for months before the elections