DiMaio wins Assembly seat

DiMaio wins Assembly seat

CLINTON TWP. - First elected to local office when he was 23 years old, Warren County Freeholder John DiMaio has prevailed to claim a vacant District 23 Assembly seat after waging a second ballot war with fellow red meat Republican conservative, Hunterdon County Freeholder Erik Peterson.

153 for DiMaio; 

141 for Peterson.

Victory for the veteran DiMaio at this special, joint-county convention hinged on his reaching into the more voter-dense Hunterdon County to pilfer votes from Peterson's backyard.

On the two Warren County voting machines, DiMaio recorded totals of 60 and 62 votes, while Peterson claimed just eight and nine votes. On the one Hunterdon County machine, DiMaio pulled 31 votes, while Peterson won 124 votes.

In his first ballot loss to DiMaio and Peterson, Hunterdon County Freeholder Matt Holt, a moderate, won 42 votes from Hunterdon and 14 from Warren. 

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Peterson v. DiMaio

Peterson v. DiMaio
From left: Hunterdon County GOP Chairman Henry Kuhl, GOP Counsel Mark Sheridan, and Warren County GOP Chair Doug Steinhardt peruse the first ballot results

CLINTON - Freeholder Erik Peterson and Freeholder John DiMaio will meet on a second ballot, GOP counsel Mark Sheridan just announced.

Freeholder Matt Holt is out.

129 votes for DiMaio;

56 for Holt;

104 Peterson.

Now voters begin to line up again in front of the Sequoia voting machines.

"The reason it's taking so long is these are those new paper trial voting machines," says former U.S. Rep. Dick Zimmer. 

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Schluter says he'll back Christie for Governor

Schluter says he'll back Christie for Governor
Former Sen. Bill Schluter

Former State Sen. William Schluter, a Republican who ran for Governor as an Independent eight years ago, said today that he will support former U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie for the Republican nomination for Governor.

"The Republican Party wants to be united with Christie, and I like Chris (Daggett) very much but the reality is the money one needs to run for governor makes it very difficult for him to get support. I'll be with Christie," said Schluter.

Schluter, a longtime environmentalist and ethics reform champion, was serving as a Republican State Senator in 2001 when he decided to mount an Independent bid for Governor.  He received 1% of the vote.  Daggett, 58, a former Commissioner of Environmental Protection under Gov. Thomas Kean and Regional EPA Administrator under President Reagan, said earlier this week that he would seek the governorship as an Independent.

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Peterson: Lincoln and Reagan

Peterson: Lincoln and Reagan
Hunterdon County Freeholder Erik Peterson

CLINTON – Reveling in his rep as a “tight-fisted” politician, Hunterdon County Freeholder Erik Peterson stands onstage now, having accepted the nomination of Hampton Mayor Rob Walton.

“What would Abraham Lincoln think today to witness the condition of our state and our nation?” Peterson asks the crowd. “We have witnessed ever expanding state spending, and borrowing. Ladies and gentlemen, this must end!”

As freeholder, he opposed a clubhouse at the golf course on principle, and backed a proposal to increase services for veterans of the armed forces. 

“As the last great president to fully embody the principles of our party, Ronald Reagan reminded us (there are simple solutions to problems),” Peterson proclaims.

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Holt voices optimism for future of the GOP

Holt voices optimism for future of the GOP
Hunterdon County Freeholder Matt Holt

CLINTON - The ugliest word one can utter here in this conservative district is “Trenton,” and “Heaven knows how we’ve suffered under the one size fits all thinking that has come out of Trenton,” Kingwood Township Mayor Eileen Niemann says as she puts Hunterdon County Freeholder Matt Holt’s name in for the vacant District 23 Assembly seat.

Holt’s up there now. 

“We need to build the foundation on which a more fiscally responsible state can grow,” the self-described optimist tells the crowd. “Let’s not forget the true measure of good leadership is to keep in mind the ultimate goal. We must never allow politics to interfere with that pursuit.”

He goes for an analogy when he considers the other dreaded concept here: the state Council on Affordable Housing (COAH), likening the agency to a Superbowl planning committee which abruptly decides three weeks before the big game to build a stadium in an area other than the one already designated.

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DiMaio focuses on Highlands Act opposition, dedication to battling COAH

DiMaio focuses on Highlands Act opposition, dedication to battling COAH
Warren County Freeholder John DiMaio

CLINTON – Warren County Freeholder John DiMaio stands at the podium now facing what over the last two hours has swelled to an almost packed Clinton Township Middle School auditorium.

An eight year veteran of the freeholder board and former president of the New Jersey Conference of Mayors, DiMaio reminds people that he fought against the Highlands Act, which he cites as an attack on Constitutional rights of home ownership.

He promises if elected to go after the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) before it “overpopulates the region.”

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In the 23rd District, it begins

In the 23rd District, it begins
23rd District candidates: Hunterdon County Freeholder Erik Peterson, Warren County Freeholder John DeMaio, and Hunterdon County Freeholder Matt Holt

CLINTON – The candidates for the vacant 23rd District Assembly seat are at last onstage here at the Clinton Township Middle School and Warren County Freeholder Director Rick Gardner is preparing to nominate his colleague, Warren County Freeholder John DiMaio.

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Christie dominates Union County convention

Christie dominates Union County convention

SUMMIT –Former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie easily won the Union County Republican Convention today -- an outcome that everyone, including the four other candidates who competed, expected.

The lopsided result at the Lawton C. Johnson middle school, while not surprising, bolsters Christie’s frontrunner status in the Republican primary.  

Christie got 294 votes to former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan's 83 while Assemblyman Rick Merkt had 9, Franklin Mayor Brian Levine had 5 and South Brunswick inventor David Brown got 4.  

The convention was the first held by a county committee in the state, but it’s the second Republican county line awarded to Christie, who earlier this week won the favored ballot spot in Monmouth County by Chairman Joseph Oxley.  

The only result truly in question today was whether Merkt or Levine would place fourth.  Both, however, downplayed the importance of the result, and said it would have no effect on whether they continue their campaigns.

“Are we in it until the primary?” Merkt asked his Campaign Manager, Chris Venis, in response to a question from PolitickerNJ.com prior to knowing the voting results.

“We’re in it ‘til November,” Venis said.

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The Back Room

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...

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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

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