Ex-Freeholder candidate seeks ouster of Gloucester GOP chair

Ex-Freeholder candidate seeks ouster of Gloucester GOP chair
Phyllis Scapellato and Larry Wallace, the Republican candidates for Gloucester County Freeholder in 2008, want GOP County Chairman Loran Oglesby to resign.

Led by a former Republican freeholder candidate, critics of Gloucester County Republican Chairwoman Loran Oglesby have launched an offensive intended to force her from office.

"If she cares anything about this party she'll resign now -- step down gracefully while she still has good favor," said Phyllis Scapellato, a school administrator who unsuccessfully ran for freeholder last year, coming a little under 14,000 votes short of the least popular Democrat, Freeholder Warren Wallace. 

Oglesby is up for reelection in June, but her detractors would like to see her removed before then, so that she does not have a role in picking the next slate of county-wide candidates for the beleaguered minority party.

Scapellato, who thinks that her top vote-getting running mate, Larry Wallace, might have beaten Warren Wallace had it not been for Oglesby's management, has started a Web site, itsnotlorensparty.com that states its sole aim as to "begin the search for a new chairman of the Gloucester County Republican Executive Committee."

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In District 2, GOP freshmen launch re-election bid as Democrats recruit challengers

Assemblyman Vince Polistina (R-Egg Harbor Township) felt the target slapped on his forehead by Democrats the day after he was elected in the 2nd Legislative District in 2007.

"They'll start spending a fortune and putting us on network TV - more of the same as what we saw in 2007," he said. 

Yesterday, Polistina and his running mate, Assemblyman John Amodeo (R-Margate) kicked off their reelection campaign at a firehouse in Egg Harbor Township.  Just as Republicans will likely sink many of their limited resources into recapturing assembly seats in neighboring District 1, Democrats are expected to pour considerable funds into this Atlantic County dominated district, where state Sen. James Whelan (D-Atlantic City) pulled off a solid victory over Republican Sonny McCullough in 2007, but didn't pull his running mates, Joe Wilkins and Blondell Spellman, across the finish line. 

Polistina said that he's been made to feel unwelcome by Democrats in Trenton, and said that his reception by the party in power has been a disappointing experience. 

"Thy don't want us there, they don't want to talk to us if they don't have to, and they would like nothing more than to get us out of the General Assembly," he said.

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Menendez gets subcomittee chairmanship

Menendez gets subcomittee chairmanship
Credit: Getty Images Photo

U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-Hoboken) is then new Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee's Housing, Transportation and Community Development Subcommittee.  Menendez secured a seat on the powerful panel last month. 

 "With this new responsibility, I will be able to more directly help effect change on some major economic issues that impact the lives of New Jersey families on a daily basis. The housing crisis is the root of our economic struggles. It continues to affect families who lose their homes as well as their neighbors who face plummeting property values and begin to worry about their own financial situation," Menendez said.   "I'm going to work closely with President Obama to deliver real economic security to families who are worried about how they can continue to afford their mortgage payments.

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Levine maintains low-key presence on the trail with jobs/economy focus

Levine maintains low-key presence on the trail with jobs/economy focus
Franklin Mayor Brian D. Levine

Since the Republican candidates for governor began touring the events circuit together a little over a week ago, Franklin Township Mayor Brian D. Levine has tried to position himself as the foursome’s expert on job growth and economic issues.

“My candidacy is based on my background as a CPA and corporate person, and as a mayor with a strong focus on economy and jobs creation in my town,” Levine said. “That’s where I’m coming from right now. I’m trying to show people from a town perspective that we’ve had our share of job growth and getting business in and that’s a microcosm of what I would like to do statewide.” 

While former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan and Assemblyman Richard Merkt (R-Mendham) have so far mostly tried to outmuscle one another on the affordable housing issue, the 50-year old, pro-choice Republican moderate has run under the radar with his jobs and economy message.

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Regardless of organizational agreements, Doherty committed to running 'on issues'

Regardless of organizational agreements, Doherty committed to running 'on issues'
Assemblyman Michael Doherty (R-Washington Twp.)

Assemblyman Michael Doherty (R-Washington Twp) prided himself on never schmoozing with the power elite in Warren County, but now that he’s been abruptly shut out of organizational channels in the aftermath of his loss last month in a special convention bid for state Senate, he’s going into full-gear, good-government outsider mode. 

“Part of what distinguishes me from Marcia Karrow is my position on debt and wanting voter approval,” said Doherty. “In this case, people need to come out of their ivory towers and see where the taxpayers are before they borrow money to build a library on the Delaware River. ...I have been working on this issue for over a year now.  What is precipitating my action now is the Freeholders’ announcement last week to move forward with their $26 million (library) building. ”

A prime Assembly sponsor of the Lance Amendment requiring voter approval for all state borrowing, Doherty plans to attend the Warren County Freeholders’ meeting on Wednesday evening armed with a similar resolution he wants the freeholders to adopt on the county level.

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Monmouth County GOP standout changes parties

Monmouth County GOP standout changes parties

MARLBORO – The Iraq War vet who once exhorted a crowd of Monmouth Republicans to "cowboy-up" in the cause of his campaign, has donned the dreaded black hat of the opposition.  

Councilman Jeff Cantor, a 2007 Republican candidate for Monmouth County Freeholder who nearly won, has changed parties and become a Democrat, according to a press release issued by the Marlboro Democratic Party.

Once seen as a rising GOP star, Cantor came within a heartbreaking handful of votes of winning his bid for freeholder against John D’Amico. 

Locally, he appeared to be the best-positioned Marlboro Republican to take on new Mayor Jonathan Hornik, a Democrat who in 2007 defeated Robert Kleinberg. 

But he’s happy with Hornik’s work, he said, and noted that “the Democrats are making the needed changes to move our community forward.”

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Morning News Digest: February 10, 2009

Booker defends Corzine's urban record

Booker defends Corzine's urban record
Newark Mayor Cory Booker

NEWARK – If Chris Christie wants to get in Gov. Jon Corzine’s face on the issue of urban renewal, he will have to first get through Mayor Cory Booker, who claimed bragging rights to New Jersey's incumbent governor tonight in his annual state of the city address.

“We stand with you, Jon Corzine, because Jon Corzine stands with Newark,” said Booker, waiting while the packed audience here at historic Symphony Hall, first slowly, then nearly uniformly, stood to applaud the unpopular governor who faces reelection this year and the prospect of battling GOP frontrunner Christie.

The latter’s from Newark originally, and last week he launched his campaign for governor at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center downtown with the promise that he would create tax incentives in New Jersey’s largest urban center as a means of enticing businesses.

While conceding that the times aren’t the best nationally – even globally – Booker adopted a been-there-done-that Democratic response to the energized former U.S. Attorney.

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The Back Room

The brother of James Michael Foley criticizes American government

The brother of slain American journalist James Michael Foley this morning criticized the American government for not doing more to help his brother.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 22nd

Fight of the Week: Donovan v. Pascrell Fight of the Week Bergen County Executive Kathe Donovan v. U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9) (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ) http://www.politickernj.com/79736/fight-week-donovan-v-pascrell     Paramus mayor's race: Candidates in closely-divided Bergen borough spar over taxes, towing issues PARAMUS - When voters go to the polls in November...

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Five ideas for strengthening the state's political parties

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