In '09, Freeholder control at stake in four counties

Majority control of the Board of Chosen Freeholders could flip in four of New Jersey’s 21 counties in November 2009: Atlantic, Burlington, Monmouth and Salem.  In Burlington, Republicans currently have a 3-2 majority after Democrats won two seats last month – their first wins in Freeholder races in two decades.  Two veteran Republican Freeholders are up for re-election in 2009: Bill Haines and Jim Wujcik.  Democrats need to beat one of the two incumbents to win control. 

In Monmouth County, Democrats won their first majority since 1986 when Amy Mallet’s victory in a recount gave them 3-2 control.  Democrat Barbara McMorrow is expected to seek re-election to a second term, and Republicans can regain control if they can unseat her next year.

In Salem County, Democrats have a 5-2 majority after Republicans picked up the open seat of retiring Democratic Freeholder Charles Sullivan, who passed away last Tuesday after a long illness.  Two Democratic incumbents, Beth Timberman and Jeffrey Hogan, are up in 2009.  Republicans would need to win both seats to take control. 

In Atlantic County, where Democrats picked up a Freeholder seat in the last election (and lost a five-term Sheriff), Republicans have a 6-3 majority.  Three Republicans are up next year: At-Large Freeholder Frank Giordano, who was elected as a Democrat in 2006 (he defeated incumbent Frank Finnerty) and then switched parties last year; District 2 Freeholder Thomas Russo, and District 5 Freeholder James Curcio.  Democrats would have to oust two of the three GOP incumbents to take control.

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Charles Sullivan, Salem Freeholder, dies at 70

Charles Sullivan, Salem Freeholder, dies at 70
Freeholder Charles Sullivan (1938-2008)

Salem County Freeholder Charles Sullivan passed on December 23 after a long illness.  He was 70.  Sullivan was first elected Freeholder in 1996 and did not seek re-election to a fifth term last month.  A Democrat, he also spent fifteen years on the Salem City Council, and was the Council President for nine years.

“The passing of Freeholder Sullivan although not a shock was never the less devastating to me. Chuck was an outstanding public servant, a leader of our party, a friend and a mentor. At times like these, especially during the holidays our thoughts and prayers are with the family. Chuck will long be remembered as a caring and adoring father and grandfather,” said Freeholder Lee Ware.  “A man firm in his principles, and a man with decades of public service that never once put his own interests before those of the people that he served. Chuck loved Salem County, and we loved him right back.” 

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Doherty rolls out support of Warren County freeholder director

Warren County Freeholder Director John DiMaio today formally endorsed Assemblyman Michael J. Doherty (R-Washington Township) for the 23rd District state senate seat U.S. Rep.-elect Leonard Lance is vacating to go to Congress.

"I have worked side-by-side with Mike as a member of the Warren County Board of Chosen Freeholders. He has a strong work ethic and he has always taken the correct stand on difficult issues,” said DiMaio in a statement.

“Mike is a true friend of families and taxpayers as evidenced by his record as a Freeholder and Assemblyman. Mike Doherty is one of the most focused individuals that I have worked with in my 28 years of elected service,” the freeholder director added. “When the little guy needs a hand, Mike is always ready to help out. Mike has earned my respect and he will be a great asset to all of us in the 23rd District as our next Senator."

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Hunterdon County prosecutor searches sheriff's office

The Hunterdon County Prosecutor's office served a search warrant on the Hunterdon County Sheriff’s office yesterday afternoon.

Freeholder Matt Holt confirmed that the board received notice that a search warrant had been served.

“It is my understanding via an email from county counsel that went to our board yesterday afternoon that the prosecutor’s office did enter the sheriff’s office with a search warrant yesterday afternoon. They were there, and did spend some time in the office, but under what grounds and whether anything was removed or not, I do not know,” he said. “More than that, we’re not privy to anything ongoing.”

County Prosecutor J. Patrick Barnes earlier this year charged two investigators in the sheriff’s office with lying about their backgrounds. Sheriff Deborah Trout has been at odds with the freeholder board since taking over the office one year ago.

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In Atlantic City, Marsh says he's likely not to run for mayor if Langford goes again

In Atlantic City, Marsh says he's likely not to run for mayor if Langford goes again
Council President William "Speedy" Marsh (foreground) and Councilman Dennis Mason, left.

ATLANTIC CITY – It’s an ancient political maxim that the closer you are to Caesar, the greater the fear, but in Atlantic City – with its recent record of mostly jailed or otherwise tarnished mayors – the saying might as well be the closer you are to Caesar’s Palace, the greater the brazenness. 

Council President William “Speedy” Marsh knows whoever takes on the job next year is going to have all the challenges intrinsic to the resort town – coupled with economic issues that are likely to present even tougher hurdles. 

“Forget about the next four years, I’m talking about the next four months,” he told

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One year into Trout's term, tensions boil over

One year into Trout's term, tensions boil over
Hunterson County Sheriff Deborah Tout, a Republican in office since January 2008, is being pushed to resign by at the all-Republican Hunterdon County Board of Freeholders.

After a year of feuding with the freeholder board over budget issues and hiring practices, Hunterdon County Sheriff Deborah Trout thought she was starting to make progress.

She had met with Freeholder Will Mennen one-on-one several times, and he was helping her iron out the differences. So it came as a surprise to her and the rest of the board two weeks ago when Freeholder George Melick introduced a resolution calling on Trout, who is only one year into her first term, to resign.

"Things are settling down, everyone is happy, getting what they want: peace," Trout said. "And, then when that came out, I said ‘Where is this coming from? We're finally getting things done.'"

The non-binding resolution contained a litany of complaints mostly focused on the argument that Trout failed to fulfill - or even attempt to accomplish -- her main campaign promises. Unprepared for such a drastic statement, the board put off its decision for a week, instead adopting a slightly watered down version by a vote of 3-2, which called on Trout to resign if she did not immediately begin fulfilling every one of her campaign promises.

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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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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 >


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


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


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