More shake ups in the Monmouth Democratic Party


Vincent Solomeno fought off his ouster as president of the Bayshore Democratic Club, at least temporarily.   An election has been scheduled for August 8.

Solomeno said, “The rumors of my death were greatly exaggerated.”

Solomeno to be ousted as president of Bayshore Democratic Club

Vincent Solomeno

The Bayshore Democratic Club will change its leadership tonight when Vincent Solomeno of Hazlet is replaced mid-term as president.  Solomeno is not resigning, he’s being dumped.

Michael DiCicco, a former Pt. Pleasant Beach counciman and municipal chair who moved to Middletown within the last couple of years will be the new president of the club, according to Democratic insiders who asked not to be named. 

 DiCicco is a partner in the Bathgate, Wegner & Wolf law firm.

The shakeup is being lead by outgoing Middletown Democratic Chairman Joe Caliendo.

Solomeno was a supporter of Marlboro Councilman Frank LaRocca’s unsuccessful campaign for Monmouth County Chairman.  That campaign waged primary challenges against the municipal chairs of Holmdel, Hazlet, and Keansburg, as well as challenges to incumbent committee members in Middletown, all of which failed.

Solomeno is closely aligned to the Democratic candidates for county office; Kevin Lavan and Bill Shea running for Freeholder and Michael Steinhorn running for County Clerk.   Former Monmouth Democratic Chairman Vic Scudiery called for Lavan, Shea and Steinhorn to resign their candidacies last week.

Posted: July 11th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth Democrats | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Middletown Democrats will elect a new chairman

Joe Caliendo

Joe Caliendo is stepping down as chairman of the Middletown Democratic Party after 25 years.  He will continue to serve on the County Committee and as Sergeant-At-Arms of the county organization.

Caliendo was reelected as the Middletown Democratic leader on June 5.  He was an instrumental supporter of Vin Gopal’s landslide victory as Monmouth County Democratic Chairman.  His resignation is effective upon the election of a new Chair.

The Democrat’s Executive Committee will hold a special election on July 18th. 


Don Watson

Port Monmouth resident Don Watson, President of the Democratic Social Club and Sergeant-At-Arms of the local committee has announced his candidacy.  Watson will likely be the only candidate.

Former School Board Member Lenny Inzerillo, a past candidate for Assembly, Freeholder and State Senate, told MMM that he had been approached to run for Chairman but was not likely to run.  “Why rock the boat?” Inzerillo said.

Former Township Committee Member Sean Byrnes said Watson “is a hard worker and will probably do a good job.”

Posted: July 11th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Middletown, Middletown Democrats, Monmouth Democrats | Tags: , | 8 Comments »


Mary Foster
Mary Foster

Vin Gopal, Candidate for Monmouth County Democratic Chairman in the upcoming June election, has selected State Committeewoman Mary F. Foster as his running mate. Foster, a lifelong Democrat, is a retired retail and textile executive. In addition to being an appointed State Committeewoman, she is also an active county committeewoman as the District 29 female representative in Middletown, representing the district alongside longtime county Democratic Party Chairman Victor Scudiery, who is the male representative for the district. For the past 12 years, Foster has been an elected member of the Middletown Democratic Party Executive Committee, serving as Corresponding Secretary. In recognition of her lifelong dedication to the Democratic Party, Foster was recently selected as a District Delegate to this year’s Democratic National Convention. She will go to Charlotte this summer to cast her vote in support of the Obama/Biden ticket.


 “I am excited to join Vin as his running mate and build on the successes that Vic Scudiery built throughout this county. Nobody can fill Vic’s shoes but together we can build on what he has started,” stated Foster.


“Mary Foster will make an outstanding Vice-Chairwoman. She has worked hard for Democrats here in Middletown and is well-respected throughout the Bayshore. Vin’s commitment in challenging Republicans throughout this county is complimented in his choice of Mary Foster,” stated Middletown Democratic Party Chairman Joe Caliendo and Middletown Democratic Club President Don Watson in a joint statement. 


“I am honored that Mary has accepted my offer to run on the ticket with me. Together, with so many Democrats around this county, we will continue to fight to elect Democrats at the municipal, county, state and federal levels,” stated Gopal.


Along with her husband Mike, Mary volunteers at her church. She is also involved in other community organizations. 

Posted: April 17th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth Democrats, Press Release | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

The Monmouth Democratic Chairman’s Race

The balloting won’t be until mid-June 2012, but the candidates vying to replace Victor Scudiery as Monmouth County Democratic Chairman are running as if the race will be decided on January 14.

Marlboro Councilman Frank LaRocca and businessman Vin Gopal, an Assembly candidate from the 11th legislative district last month, are building their alliances and working the phones.   LaRocca is the law partner of Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornick.  Gopal, a business partner of Scudiery.  Hornick, considered a Democratic rising star statewide, is all in for his political and business partner as they seek to build an organization to propel the young mayor into higher office.  Scudiery is officially neutral.

During Scudiery’s two decade tenure as chairman he has fought against the state Democratic organization bringing “outsiders” in to fill appointments in the county.  Perhaps the most notable example is the Monmouth Prosecutor’s job in 2005.  Acting Governor Richard Codey nominated Essex County resident Luis Valentin to succeed Republican John Kaye who had held the job for 21 years.   Scudiery objected, wanting the job to go to Monmouth resident Allan Falk.  Scudiery asked State Senator Joe Palaia, a Republican, to block Valentin’s appointment via senatorial courtesy. Palaia stayed out of the Democratic family feud, but Trenton Democrats responded by sending U.S. Senator/gubernatorial candidate Jon Corzine and Congressman Frank Pallone to Airport Plaza to demand that Scudiery step down as chairman.  He didn’t.

LaRocca and Hornick, “LaHornicca,” are seen to be allied with the Trenton Democratic establishment.  They have strong ties to State Democratic Chairman John Wisniewski.  Democratic legal powerhouse, DeCotiis, FitzPatrick and Cole, of Teaneck, are the Marlboro borough attorneys.

Gopal, despite having a statewide network of his own, including a close alliance with Newark Mayor Cory Booker, is seen to represent local interests. During his Assembly campaign he expressed a commitment to building a homegrown Democratic organization.

Alliances in the chairman’s race are breaking along similar lines.   Middletown Democratic Chair Joe Caliendo is backing Gopal.  Caliendo and Howell Democratic Chair Steve Morlino often align their forces, creating an insurmountable voting block.  If that alliance stands, Gopal will likely win.

“LaHornicca” has the support of former Red Bank Mayor Ed McKenna, who challenged Scudiery in 2000.  McKenna’s law partner, Michael DuPont is also in the “LaHornicca” camp.  DuPont is the treasurer of the New Jersey Turnpike AuthorityDeCotiis is the law firm for the Turnpike Authority.

However, the Red Bank Democrats are split.  Ed Zipprich, the municipal chairman and a councilman supports Gopal.

Democratic campaign and media consultants Pat Politano, of Union County, and Jon Evans of Morris County, famous in Monmouth County for running Brian Unger’s Long Branch mayoral campaign in 2010, are supporting “LaHornicca.”   Politano is closely aligned with former State Democratic Chairman Joe Cryan, a Union County Assemblyman and Undersheriff, and with Cryan’s running mate, Senator Ray Lesniak.

As hard as Gopal and “LaHornicca” are working on building their alliances with current municipal chairs and committee members, most of the voters may not yet be identified.  The entire county committee, of both parties, is up for election in the June 5, 2012 primary.  The current Monmouth County Democratic Committee has over 400 vacancies.   The team that gets candidates to run for those empty seats could control the Monmouth Democratic Organization through June of 2014.

Posted: December 10th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth Democrats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

Middletown Dems Funded By Erotic Bookseller

By Art Gallagher

Well, suddenly election season is not so boring.

Earlier this week the Middletown Democratic Executive Committee reported to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission that they received a $2600 contribution from Bookazine Inc, a Bayone based book wholesaler.

Bookazine specializes in the wholesale distribution of homo-erotica.  Their catolog includes such titles and Handjobs Anthology, Volune 22, Tug Harder 2, and Bustin’ a Nut.   I’m not going to write the sub-titles.

Reached for comment, Middletown Democratic Chairman Joe Caliendo said, “What’s your problem?”  Asked if knows what Bookazine sells, Caliendo said, “No comment on anything,” and hung up.

Democratic Township Committee Candidate Carol Fowler said, “I wouldn’t know about that,” when informed that Bookazine had contributed to the campaign.  When informed about what Bookazine sells, Fowler said, “That’s too shocking to even process.”

Fowler’s running mate, Jim Grenefage, could not be reached for comment.

Mayor Tony Fiore, who is being challenged by Grenafege and Fowler said, “The Middletown Democrats should return that donation.  If they have any sense of decency and what is right, they will return the money.”

Fiore’s running mate, Stephanie Murray, a book seller herself, said “The Democrats should know where their money is coming from.  This contribution shows a lack of judgement and insight.”

Posted: October 14th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Middletown | Tags: , , , , , | 65 Comments »

Desevo Still A Candidate

By Art Gallagher

The headline in the Asbury Park Press print edition said “Candidate Quits” but as of yesterday afternoon, Alex Desevo was still a Democratic candidate for Middletown Township Committee, 10 days after his arrest for possession of crack cocaine at the Holmdel Motor Inn.holmdel-motor-inn

Bertha Sumick, Monmouth County Clerk of Elections, said she has not received a letter of resignation from Desevo.

Desevo might have been able to save his family the embarrassment of his troubles being front page news had he resigned his candidacy as soon as possible…like the Monday morning after his arrest.  However, judging by the reaction of Middletown Mike, the Middletown Democrats didn’t learn of Desevo’s situation until after the APP published the details.

This could be great for business.  The longer Desevo drags this out in a Weineresque style, the more traffic and silly comments from Middletown Democrats this site will get.

Maybe Anna Little will launch a DESEVO MUST RESIGN ad campaign.

Word on the street is that Desevo was always intended only to be a “place holder” candidate, while Middletown Democratic Chairman Joe Caliendo searched the township for “a candidate who can really represent Middletown well.”

Caliendo’s problem is that all of the people who represent Middletown well are Republicans.

Just to be neighborly (and to demonstrate to awesome reach of MMM) I’d like to help Caliendo out.  Any Democrat who wants to run for Township Committee, should contact Joe Caliendo at [email protected].   Hey Joe, even Mike didn’t do that for you!   No charge this time.

Posted: June 29th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Middletown | Tags: , , | 9 Comments »