On paper they are unopposed for the Monmouth GOP nominations for freeholder to be awarded on Saturday morning at iPlayAmerica in Freehold Township. But former Middletown Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger and Hazlet Deputy Mayor Sue Kiley are taking no chances and are campaigning as if they were in competitive races.
Both candidates have sent letters of introduction to each member of the GOP County Committee and they have been meeting with Republican municipal committees throughout the County for the last three weeks. Last night they met with Republican Committee members from Ocean Township, Eatontown and Long Branch at an event hosted by Ocean GOP Chairman Joe Hadden. On Thursday evening the candidates are scheduled to meet with Republicans from the Two Rivers area at an event hosted by former Red Bank Chairman Jim Giannell.
Scharfenberger is vying to replace Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso on the Board of Freeholders. If elected by the Monmouth GOP County Committee on Saturday, he will take office immediately and ask the general election voters in November to keep him on the job for the final year of DiMaso’s term.
Kiley is seeking the nomination for a full three year term on the Freeholder Board. The seat Kiley is seeking is currently held by disgraced Freeholder John P. Curley. If nominated on Saturday, Kiley will continue to serve as Deputy Mayor of Hazlet this year while she and Scharfenberger make their case to Monmouth County voters throughout the year.
Throughout the County, the mood of Republicans towards Curley is that of embarrassment and sadness for a friend who has gone badly off track.
Hadden expressed the sentiment well. “John Curley is my friend. But we can’t have elected officials who say and do the things he has,” Hadden said last night in Ocean Township. “We’re very fortunate to have two outstanding public servants who are willing to step up to lead. John is my friend, but if I was a freeholder, I would have voted to censure him. Now we need to coalesce behind Gerry and Sue and work hard for their election in November.”