Atlantic Highlands-Democrat Candidates for Borough Council, Edward Cetron and Elliot Warren have withdrawn their names from the general election ballot and the local Democrat Party has endorsed incumbent Republican Councilmen Lou Fligor and Jake Hoffmann for reelection. Fligor and Hoffmann are running for as Independents after being denied the Republican endorsement by GOP Municipal Chair Jane Frotton.
Democrat Municipal Chair Regina Hawley Keelen announced Cetron’s and Warren’s withdraw and her Party’s endorsement of Fligor and Hoffmann on Friday night at a fundraiser for the Independent slate held a Shore Casino in the municipal harbor. Mayor Randi LeGrice, a Democrat, emphatically endorsed Fligor and Hoffman. “I can’t do it without them,” LeGrice said in her remarks to the gathering of 73 people.
Fligor and Hoffmann will face off against Republicans Steve Boracchia and Sue Tidswell in November. Boracchia ran against Assembly Members Amy Handlin and Declan O’Scanlon in the 2013 Republican primary as a Bayshore Tea Party backed candidate. Tidswell was the Republican campaign manager last year for the GOP municipal team that lost to LeGrice and Democrat Councilmen Roy Dellosso and Chuck Lero.
Former Mayor Fred Rast, a Republican, set the tone for the bi-partisan unity of the evening by recalling that during his eight years as mayor that members of the governing body put their party affiliation aside for the betterment of the community once election season was over. Rast said that for six of his eight years governing that the four Republicans and two Democrats on the council worked as a team. Rast said that the local Republican Party split over disagreements regarding the dissolution of the of the Atlantic Highlands-Highlands Sewage Authority and the governance of the Atlantic Highlands Municipal Harbor.
Both sides of the unity event made it clear that their bi-partisanship ends at Atlantic Highlands’ border. Keelen said “from the County level on up, I’m a die-hard Democrat.” Fligor told MMM that he is voting for Donald Trump for President and that he supports Republican Freeholder candidates Tom Arnone and Serena DiMaso and County Surrogate Rosemarie Peters for reelection. Fligor said he is undecided on who to support for Sheriff in November given that Shaun Golden, Sheriff and GOP County Chairman, backed Frotton’s decision to deny him the Republican endorsement for reelection.
“Boracchia and Tidswell are nice people,” Rast said, “but they are only involved in the community at election time. Lou and Jake are the right people for the job. That’s the bottom line. They work hard and are involved in the community all the time, not just election time.”