Monmouth Democratic Nominating Convention Preview

The Monmouth County Democrats are holding their nominating convention on Thursday, March 22 at the Bayshore Senior Center, 6:30 PM.

Michael Steinhorn of Rumson is the only candidate who has filed to run for County Clerk.  He is expected to be nominated to run against Republican incumbent M.Claire French. Steinhorn was the nominee for County Surrogate last year.

Former State Trooper Bill Shea, a candidate last year, and former Hazlet Mayor Kevin Lavan, a candidate for Assembly last year from the 13th district , will be freeholder candidates. 

There are two freeholder seats up this year;  a full term that is being defended by incumbent Republican Freeholder Director John Curley and an unexpired term that will be defended by Freeholder Serena DiMaso.  DiMaso was elected by the Monmouth Republican Committee to fill the vacancy created by Rob Clifton’s election to the State Assembly.

The Democrats have yet to determine which seats Shea and Lavan will challenge.

Former Freeholder Amy Mallet has not ruled out re-seeking the office that she lost last November.  Asked repeatedly by MMM if she was going to make an run for freeholder either at the convention or in the primary, Mallet said, “no, not at this time,” and “I am not running as of now.”   Asked to give a definitive answer, she declined.

Two candidates have thrown their hats into the ring for the nomination to take on Congressman Chris Smith in the 4th congressional district. Former Monmouth County Surrogate Patricia Bennett, now an elder law attorney in Red Bank and Spring Lake businessman Brian Froelich will compete for the Democratic endorsement on Thrusday night.  

Froelich has a website and says he’s filed with the FEC to be a candidate. He would not rule out a primary challenge should he lose to Bennett on Thursday, saying, “I intend to win at the convention and have not thought beyond that.”

Bennett could not be reach for comment.

Posted: March 20th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: 2012 Congressional Races, Chris Smith, Congress, Democrats, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth Democrats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments »

Monmouth Democrats Will Choose Their Candidates Saturday

By Art Gallagher

The Monmouth County Democratic Organization will hold a “mini-convention” tomorrow at the Carpenters Union Hall in Red Bank for the purpose of nominating county and state legislative candidates for the June primary election.

One reader asked me today, “How come the Democrats are so good at keeping a lid on who their potential candidates are and everyone knows who the Republican players are?”

The answer is two fold: 1) The Democrats have been having a difficult time recruiting candidates.  They don’t have a deep bench of elected officials on the municipal level in Monmouth County. 2) Unlike the GOP that has incumbent legislators we knew were going to run regardless of how the new map was drawn, the Democrats have only had since Sunday to determine who lives in what district and if any of the districts are competitive.

Based upon numerous conversations with Monmouth Democrats who will never talk to me again if I name them, the contenders for the various nominations are as follows:

Surrogate:  Little Silver Councilman Daniel O’Hern, Jr is the most prominent name mentioned.  O’Hern is the son of the former State Supreme Court Justice.  He is the Red Bank Borough Attorney and former Middletown Township Committeeman Sean Byrnes law partner.

Freehold Township Attorney Ray Santiago’s name has been mentioned for Surrogate, as has Lake Como Councilman Brian Wilton. Wilton’s name has also been mentioned for Freeholder.

Freeholder:  Incumbent Freeholder Amy Mallet will be nominated.  William Shea of Howell, a 32 year old State Trooper who is retiring on June 1st has emerged as the front runner to be Mallet’s running mate.

11th Legislative District:  Many Democrats think this district, which includes Neptune Township, Asbury Park, Long Branch and Red Bank, is competitive.  This is where the action has been for Democrats this week as potential candidates lobby delegates for the chance to challenge Senator Jennifer Beck and Assemblywomen Mary Pat Angelini and Caroline Casagrande in the general election.

For Senate, former Assemblyman Michael Panter is in the running. Amy Quinn of Asbury Park, the County Vice-Chair and municipal chair is gathering support, as is Asbury Park Mayor Ed Johnson.

Red Bank Councilman Michael Dupont and Freehold Borough Councilman Jay Sims are also in the mix for Senate.

For Assembly, Kevin McMillan, Randy Bishop and Jason Jones, all of Neptune Township are in the mix, as is Red Bank Councilwoman Sharon Lee and Santiago of Freehold Township.  Vin Gopal of Long Branch is considering a bid.

12th Legislative District: As busy as the Democrats are the the 11th is as quiet as they are the the 12th.  As of this writing, the Monmouth Dems might let the Ocean and Middlesex Democrats nominate the candidates for this district.

13th Legislative District.  No one wants to run against Joe Kyrillos for Senate, but some Democrats are trying to coax former Judge, Senator, Freeholder and Parole Board Chairman John D’Amico of Oceanport to come out of retirement one more time.

For Assembly in the 13th, former Hazlet Mayor Kevin Lavan and Atlantic Highlands Councilman Roy Dellosso are the likely nominees to challenge GOP incumbents Amy Handlin and Declan O’Scanlon.

The 30th Legislative District is the only slate that is settled for the Democrats.  Steve Morlino of Howell Township will be making yet another run against Senator Robert Singer. Rabbi Howard Kleinhendler, who ran against Chris Smith for Congress last year will run for Assembly.  Point Pleasant Borough Councilman Shaun O’Rourke will complete the Assembly ticket in the 30th.

Posted: April 8th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth Democrats | Tags: , | 7 Comments »