In Hamilton, succession is in the air
By Darryl R. Isherwood | November 21st, 2012 - 1:53pm
| More

As Hamilton Township prepares to regroup after the stunning fall of Republican Mayor John Bencivengo, convicted Tuesday on corruption charges, the mayoral succession is already in play.

Bencivengo resigned effective today and Council President Kevin Meara will assume the role in the short term.  On Nov. 29, the township Republican Committee will meet to choose three names to pass along to the Republican-controlled council.  The council will choose from among the three.

As of now, the committee's job may be an easy one as township Republicans say only three names have so far surfaced for the seat that Bencivengo's successor will hold until November  2013, when the township will hold a special election to fill the final two years of the former mayor's term.

Republican Councilwoman Kelly Yaede is likely the front-runner for the post and according to Republicans has expressed her interest.

Former 14th District Republican State Sen. Pete Inverso's name also has surfaced as a potential successor to Bencivengo, who is facing up to 20 years of jail time for accepting a bribe from a local insurance broker in exchange for help maintaining a contract with the Hamilton School Board.

Republican Councilman Ed Gore also has been rumored to be interested in the spot.

Both Inverso and Gore say they have not yet expressed interest with the committee.

"I'm flattered and I feel honored that people think I have the qualities that can provide the restoration of the confidence of the people in government," Inverso said. "But I haven't spoken to anyone about it yet."

Inverso, who served five terms in the state Senate before retiring in 2008, stressed that though he has announced his retirement as CEO of Roma Bank effective next year, the board has not yet found a replacement. 

"My first obligation is here, though no one has spoken to me.  I don't know what scenarios there may be or options there may be," he said.

Gore, a local attorney, has served on the council since April 2010, when he was appointed to replace former Councilman Tom Goodwin, who filled the Senate seat vacated by Bill Baroni.  In November of that year, he won a special election to fill the remainder of Goodwin's term.

Gore also said he has not yet thrown his name in the ring but said if he were chosen by his fellow council representatives "I'd be honored to serve."

Yaede has served on the council since 2006 and is immensely popular with voters.  She has been mentioned as a possible Senate or Assembly candidate in the 14th, which was traditionally split between the parties but is currently represented by three Democrats in the state Legislature.

In July, Yaede, a protégé of Inverso's, left her job with the American Cancer Society to join Roma Bank as vice president of community relations.  Mayor of Hamilton is a full-time position paying $108,000 per year, so Yaede would need to step down from her new position.

Yaede did not return a call for comment, but Councilman Dave Kenny, who will be among the five members to choose the township's future leader, said Yaede would make a fine mayor.

"I'm one of the people that gets to decide and I think Kelly would make an outstanding mayor," Kenny said.

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 29th

Belmar mayor's race: a wave of post-Sandy project politics stirs up seaside Monmouth borough BELMAR - When Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty rolled out his re-election campaign in February, he did so still basking in the glow of what many residents of the 6,000-person Monmouth County seaside borough saw...

Op-Ed

White House’s Tuition Challenge Being Met in NJ

By MICHAEL W. KLEIN In his weekly radio address on August 16, President Obama challenged colleges “to do their part to bring down costs” and lighten the tuition burden on students.  The state colleges and universities in New Jersey have... Read More >

Contributors

My Republican Hillary Clinton Experience    There is a veritable plethora of reportage in print, internet, television and radio media speculating as to whether Hillary Clinton will seek the Democratic... more »
(8-27-14) All Americans Should Support Gov. Perry - Political prosecutions have no place in American life. Those who use the justice system as they are using it in Texas... more »
(Asbury Park, NJ) -- There's a word for someone who says one thing and does another: hypocrite.  There's no shortage of 'em in Trenton -- from ... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"Christie’s method for coping with scandal has been more complicated. In January, the seemingly-local issue of lane closings on the George Washington Bridge, which created a massive traffic jam in the Hudson River town of Fort Lee, became one of national interest when it was revealed that one of Christie’s closest staffers had ordered them—for what looked like political retribution against a Democratic mayor. The scandal was quickly dubbed 'Bridgegate,' and unfortunately for Christie, it played into his reputation as a bully. Christie's response was to act unlike himself: humble." - Olivia Nuzzi

- The Daily Beast

Poll

Who is a better field general for his party as both try to win governor's races around the country?:

Blogroll

Visit the PolitickerNJ.com/resources page for links to the best collection of information on New Jersey state government.

 

  • Polls
  • The best blogs
  • Columnists
  • State election results
  • Assembly election results
  • Local party websites
  • And more.

PolitickerNJ.com/resources