Bayshore Tea Party Group Boasts of 1000 Members, Staunch Backers of Anna Little

gonzalez sign blocking

Bayshore Tea Party Group member Frank Gonzalez, husband of the group’s co-founder, Barbara, installs homemade lawn signs on Rt 35 in Middletown during the 2013 Monmouth County Republican primary campaign

Bayshore Tea Party Group co-founder Barbara Gonzalez told HuffPost that her group has nearly 1000 members and that they are staunch supporters of former Highlands Mayor Anna Little’s quest to unseat Congressman Frank Pallone, in an article posted last evening.

“If you don’t get someone in who is totally willing to fight the establishment, it will never change,” Gonzalez told HuffPost.

Little lost to Pallone in 2010 and 2012 with BTPG’s support, but Gonzalez thinks it will be different this year.

Gonzalez said her membership roll has grown by “a couple of dozen new members” since earlier this month when the Bridgegate controversy broke.

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Posted: January 30th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Anna Little, Barbara Gonzalez, Bayshore Tea Party Group, Monmouth County, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments »

Elf on the shelf?

Walsh won’t say if he’s running for freeholder

photo via facebook

Howell Councilman Bob Walsh. photo via facebook

It’s been almost two months since Howell Councilman Bob Walsh told us he would challenge Republican freeholder incumbents, Director Lillian Burry and Deputy Director Gary Rich, at the upcoming Monmouth Republican Nominating Convention.  In our early December interview, which Walsh claimed he thought was off the record after publication, he said he would be sending a letter to member of the Monmouth County Republican Committee shortly after the first of the year.

Now, at the end of January, there’s been no letter, and Walsh wouldn’t say if he’s running when we called him late last week.  “I’m busy at work and have a few things to take care of; go to the doctor for my annual check up.  Then I’ll decide,” Walsh said.

But Walsh was overheard at a Howell Republican Club meeting last week saying he was going to run and he was seen working the crowd at Sheriff’s Shaun Golden’s Winter Breakout fundraiser on Friday.

One Republican insider who requested not to be named said Walsh is running.  “He’s all in and its going to be a shit show,” the committee member said, ” he’s calling the municipal chairmen.”

Manalapan GOP Chairman Steve McEnery said he hasn’t heard from Walsh. “He hasn’t called me,” McEnery said, “so I really don’t know what he’s going to do, but I don’t think we need a convention fight for freeholder nominations.”

Another chairperson said Walsh is probably gauging his level of support before committing. “A lot of people rallied around Lillian and Gary as a result of your article in December,” the chair said, “they both (Burry and Rich) have issues, but nothing that disqualifies them. Why should we have a fight just because Bob Walsh wants to be a freeholder?”

Burry, who said Walsh “should wait his turn” in December, laughed when told that he in now equivocating.  “One day he’s running, the next day he’s not. You’ll have to ask him,” Burry said, “I’m running.  I already have more than enough signatures on my petitions and I’m still collecting.”

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Posted: January 27th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , , | 30 Comments »

Serena is the best choice for Monmouth County Freeholder

Serena DiMaso

Serena DiMaso

Monmouth County residents are fortunate that the Republican party has such a deep bench of qualified talent.  Any of the four municipal office holders seeking to take Assemblyman Rob Clifton’s seat on the Board of Chosen Freeholders on Saturday can do the job and do it well.

Serena DiMaso of Holmdel has distinguished herself as the outstanding choice amongst very good choices.

Atlantic Highlands Councilman Peter Doyle and Manalapan Committeeman Ryan Green, both newcomers to county level politics, each have a great deal of promise.  Each has a future in higher office should they continue to pursue it.

Howell Mayor Bob Walsh was the early favorite of this blog.  We agree with everything that our friend James Hogan said about Bob in his endorsement, except Jim’s conclusion that Bob is the best candidate at this time.  We are impressed with Bob’s political accomplishments, his passion and his entrepreneurial creativity.  We appreciate his “big personality.”  We’re impressed that he has won over Joe DiBella, his former passionate political adversary.

But we believe that Serena DiMaso will be a better freeholder and a better candidate, at this time.

Serena’s personality is not as big as her heart.  She is a rare breed of politician; a truly humble public servant.   Her quiet demeanor masks a tough, tenacious and very smart conservative leader.

The Freeholder Board is already occupied by big personalities.  We believe that Serena is the perfect replacement for Rob Clifton’s calm, quiet leadership.

We also believe that Serena is the perfect running mate for Freeholder Director John Curley this year and for Freeholder Tom Arnone and Sheriff Shaun Golden next year.   As her speaking skills continue to improve…she’s improved remarkably during this brief campaign… Serena will be very difficult for the Democrats to run against.  Her record is impressive and she can sell it. 

One more thing about Serena that really impressed us.  In addition to her work as an elected official in Holmdel, on the stump she’s been touting her work as a member of the Board of Trustees of Meridan HealthChair of the Bayshore Hospital Foundation and a volunteer for the Holmdel First Aid Squad.

We figured the First Aid Squad gig was a resume builder like many politicians who join their community fire departments so that they use pictures wearing gear in campaign materials.  Then we learned that Serena went on over 300 emergency calls last year.  What mayor or chair of a hospital foundation does that?  How does she do all that?  “Dinner is often late to the table and the laundry is done in the middle of the night,” was her answer.

Serena will bring a great, deep, balance to the next two general election tickets and to the Board of Freeholders.

A first ballot victory on Saturday is in order.

Posted: January 11th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Freeholder, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Photo Finish

By Art Gallagher

The race for the Monmouth GOP nomination for Freeholder is coming down to the wire.  The only safe bet at this point is that Howell Mayor Bob Walsh will not be the nominee.  A late entry into the race, Walsh has impressed on the stump, but this is not his year.  He has a future in county or state politics, if he wants it.  Elected in Howell as an Independent, Walsh needs to build support within the Republican party in order to secure a nomination on a higher than municipal level.

The race as it stands now is a nail biter between Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas, Wall Committeeman George Newberry and Spring Lake Councilman Gary Rich.  Tonight’s speeches at the Monmouth County Affilitated Club’s candidates night ( Lakeside Manor, Rt 36, Hazlet, 6PM) will be delivered with the hope of closing the few undecided delegates and picking off delegates with “soft” commitments.  A gaffe or a home run tonight could determine the nomination.  Not that I want to create any pressure for the candidates.

Rich has emerged from the “oh him again” candidate to a tenacious contender.  He has earned the respect of many and the admiration of his competitors.  His presentation skills are strong.  Rank and file Republicans and Tea Party groups both like him.   If Rich wins the nomination it will be from the strength of his support from the municipal chairs, especially from the smaller coastal and bayshore towns.

Newberry is a solid guy.  Honest, hardworking, dependable.  A team player.  While not yet comfortable on the county stage, George, if nominated will be a strong candidate in the general election against Democratic incumbent Amy Mallet and Sean Byrnes, if Byrnes is the Democratic nominee.   If Byrnes runs for the legislature, Newberry is even stronger in the general.

Lucas is a proven winner in  rough and tumble Manalapan politics.  He is Lillian Burry’s first choice for a running mate. He has strong support in among chairs in the western part of the county.  Andrew has run for Freeholder before, losing to Barbara McMorrow in 2006 when she was a Democrat.  The is no shame in losing to McMorrow and losing a countywide race is no longer a disqualification for seeking another shot.  Mallet lost an Assembly bid before winning her Freeholder seat and John Curley was successful in his second try for Freeholder.

The Monmouth GOP is fortunate to have such a deep bench of qualified candidates.  Each of the four gentlemen pursuing the nomination this year could win the general election and serve with distinction.   The close race is an indication of the difficulty of the choice.

The selection committee meets Saturday morning.  MMM will have the result first.

Posted: March 25th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth GOP, Monmouth GOP Affiliated Club | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments »

Freeholder Nomination Race Update

By Art Gallagher

The municipal chairs of western Monmouth County are hosting a candidates forum for those seeking the GOP nomination for Monmouth County Freeholder tomorrow at 9:30am at the county library on Symmes Road in Manalapan.  The chairs from the region are scheduled to meet following the forum to discuss endorsing a candidate.

Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas will have the home field advantage.  Wall Committeeman George Newberry and Spring Lake Councilman Gary Rich are rallying their supporters to attend the event.

With the screening committee meeting to choose a candidate for the party line a month away, it might be early for a block on chairmen to announce an endorsement.   The field currently consists of Lucas, Newberry and Rich.  None of the three are considered a lock for the nomination in what is shaping up to be a very competitive race.

Rich, who is making his third bid for a Freeholder nomination, now has the backing of former Red Bank Chairman Jim Giannell.  Giannell’s relationships with chairs in the Two Rivers region and the Bayshore are a significant boost to Rich this time around.

In the fight for the 2006 nomination, Giannell threw his support to Lucas during a wild and contentious nominating convention.  Lucas won the nomination but he and Giannell later had a failing out when Lucas did not support Giannell against Adam Puharic in the race for county chairman.

To a certain extent, Rich vs Lucas is a battle for influence between Giannell and Manalapan Chairman Steve McEnry and his loosely aligned western Monmouth chairman’s group.

Newberry has the strong support of the Wall Township Republicans.  County Clerk Claire French’s support of Newberry is significant.   The Rich camp and the Lucas camp both consider Newberry to be County Chairman Joe Oxley’s choice, despite Oxley’s efforts to remain neutral through the process.  Oxley is the Wall Township Borough Attorney.

All three candidates are counting votes and think they have enough support to win a race that like last year’s contest is looking to be closely divided.  Last year Tom Arnone beat  Tom Wilkens of Middletown by 4 votes.  Rich came in third, but only 12 votes separated him and Arnone.

However, the field of three candidates may expand or change.

Lucas has been telling people, including MoreMonmouthMusings, that he will not ask the screening committee for the nomination unless he is confident that he has the votes to win.  He told MMM that at this point he thinks he has the votes and has no intention of dropping out.

But some have heard Lucas’s words to mean that he might drop out.   This has led others to consider entering the race.  Howell Mayor Bob Walsh is the most notable potential candidate. 

Walsh, a Republican who was elected as an Independent in Howell, declined to enter the Freeholder nominating race earlier due to an family matter concerning his son’s health.  That situation is now managable and Walsh has his family’s support to run if he so chooses.  Walsh told MMM that he won’t run against Lucas with whom he is very friendly, but that he will run should Lucas drop out.

Posted: February 25th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth GOP | Tags: , | 26 Comments »

Gray Will Not Be A Candidate For Freeholder

By Art Gallagher

Jim Gray of Manalapan, the former clerk of the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, has been telling party leaders and other potential freeholder candidates that he will not be seeking the GOP nomination for freeholder this year.  According to multiple sources, Gray will continue his service on the Monmouth County Library Board, and enjoy his retirement with his family.  Gray did not return MMM’s phone call for confirmation.

Word that Gray was considering a bid, as reported here on January 10th, had a virtual field clearing effect.  Now that Gray has chosen not to run, the race for the nomination to challenge Democratic Freeholder Amy Mallet is expected to heat up.  Incumbent Republican Lillian Burry has indicated that she will seek a third term.  No challenger is expected to Burry’s nomination.

Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas stopped short of declaring his candidacy when asked by MMM if he was running.  He said that with Gray out of the race he would re-start his efforts to gauge the level of support he has among municipal chairs and other party leaders.

Wall Township Committee Member George Newbury and Spring Lake Councilman Gary Rich, Sr. are expected to seek the nomination.

Holmdel Mayor Serena DiMaso and former Middletown Township Committee Member Tom Wilkens, both veterans for the nominating process are considering bids, as is former Tinton Falls municipal chairman Michael Laffery.

Posted: January 20th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Republican Committee | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »