Curley huddles with lawyers in Monmouth on the last day a candidate can contest results

Not so fast, says John Curley of Middletown Township.

The GOP’s Monmouth County Freeholder candidate convenes with fellow party members and attorneys this morning to determine if he should contest the results of his close race with Democrat Amy Mallet.

“There has been so much that’s transpired in this election,” says Curley. “We’re going to get some hard evidence and based on that either proceed, or concede.”

Following the provisional ballot count yesterday at the Board of elections office, Mallet unofficially defeated Curley by 343 votes.

Although counting didn’t finish until after 6 p.m. Tuesday, Curley says he climbed into his car at 4:30 p.m. only to hear a radio news report announcing Mallet’s victory.

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Merkt calls for Wilson's resignation

In a statement issued Wednesday morning, GOP gubernatorial candidate Assemblyman Richard A. Merkt (R-Mendham) called on Republican State Committee Chairman Tom Wilson to resign his post immediately “in the best interests of the party.”

“After years of failure, it is time for the New Jersey State GOP to change horses and look to new leadership if it wants to succeed in 2009,” said Merkt. “Wilson has overseen a series of dismal state campaigns, reducing the Republican party to essential irrelevance in New Jersey state politics.”

 Merkt called Wilson’s handling of the U.S. Senate Primary a “fiasco,” in which the establishment juggled one candidate after another before running with former U.S. Rep. Dick Zimmer, and getting soundly beaten by U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-Cliffside Park).  In particular, the party’s selection of political neophyte and food heir Andy Unanue, whose short-lived candidacy dissolved in jarring headlines about his party boy past, galled Merkt.

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Corzine approvals remain upside-down as most voters say he shouldn't get second term

Corzine approvals remain upside-down as most voters say he shouldn't get second term
Credit: Getty Images Photo
Gov. Jon Corzine has an upside-down 43%-46% job approval rating

Gov. Jon Corzine continues to struggle with his fifth negative approval rating this year -- 43%-46% -- according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released today.  But those numbers are better than his 40%-51% approval rating in a September 17 Quinnipiac poll.  More than half of New Jersey voters (51%) say he doesn't deserve to be re-elected, while just 37% say he does.  

New Jerseyans, by a 54%-30% margin, don't want Corzine to be Barack Obama's Secretary of the Treasury.

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Quinnipiac: Corzine 42%, Christie 36%

Quinnipiac: Corzine 42%, Christie 36%
Credit: Getty Images Photo
U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie is within six points of incumbent Jon Corzine in a Quinnipiac University poll of the 2009 race for Governor of New Jersey

Democratic incumbent Jon Corzine has a narrow six point lead over Republican Christopher Christie in the 2009 race for Governor of New Jersey, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released early this morning.  Corzine leads Christie, who will leave his post as U.S. Attorney on December 1, 42%-36%.

“The long coattails of Barack Obama have reached down into New Jersey and helped Gov. Jon Corzine's re-election prospects, at least for now,” said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. 

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Mallet defeats Curley, Monmouth Freeholder Board becomes Democratic-controlled

Mallet defeats Curley, Monmouth Freeholder Board becomes Democratic-controlled

FREEHOLD - It’s over in Monmouth County.

They're getting final numbers here, to be certified on Thursday, but barring a recount, Amy Mallet of Fair Haven has defeated John Curley of Middletown in the race for a seat on the Monmouth County Freeholder Board, swinging county control to the Democrats, 3-2.


The final provisional vote tally shows Mallet winning, 964 votes to 654 votes for Curley, extending by 310 her Election Day lead of 18 votes. This tally does not include email and ID-pending votes, which are fewer than 100 and imminent.

"Over the last four years, the Democratic Party has gotten its message of change through to the voters that 23 years of Republican control are enough," says Monmouth County Democratic Party Director Michael Mangan. 

With 328 votes deciding a race in which voters cast over 270,000 countywide, the GOP doesn't give up - not yet.

"We're going to look at the numbers and we're going to speak with John (Curley) and our attorneys and make a decision sometime tomorrow," says county GOP spokesman Mark Duffy.

On Tuesday, it proves a long afternoon of provisional ballot counting that drags into the early evening. The Board of Elections reps slog through the hand count votes in each town.

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Potential Rumana challenger says Assembly might not be his vehicle for change

For the last couple weeks, Passaic County has buzzed with talk of Republican activist Joe Caruso mounting an Assembly primary bid to take down incumbent Scott Rumana (R-Wayne).

Reached for comment today, Caruso downplayed the prospect but did not rule it out entirely.

"Not to bloat my own ego, but I have too many ideas I want to share with the state, and to go into a position in the Assembly, my first question is what can you do to affect change as an assemblyman?," said Caruso, a Passaic County native who heads up the finance wing of the Republican Party in neighboring Bergen County and runs a finance firm.

If Caruso does decide to run, however, he will limit his campaign to targeting Rumana, and not Assemblyman Dave Russo (R-Ridgewood), who he described as a "gentleman."

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Doherty gets two Hunterdon County endorsements

Assemblyman Mike Doherty (R-Washington Township) has begun releasing endorsements from Hunterdon County Republicans in support of his quest to succeed state Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Flemington). 

Today, Doherty unveiled an endorsement from Raritan Township Deputy Mayor Richard O'Malley, who praised his fiscal and social conservatism, saying “we need more leaders like him in Trenton who will stand up for the pro-family values that are the foundation of our Hunterdon County community.” 

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The Back Room

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 20th

Bergen County Exec's race: Fort Lee Mayor Sokolich sees Bridgegate investigations as potential election catalyst FORT LEE - Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich was the emcee of Tuesday's meet-and-greet event at the Richard A. Nest Adult Activity Center in his Bergen County borough, introducing U.S. Sen. Cory Booker...

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Op-Ed

Simplify Pay-to-Play with one state law

By Jeff Brindle A lone PAC contribution to Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson’s campaign highlights the need for pay-to-play reform in New Jersey. During the recent mayoralty election in Trenton, newly elected Mayor Eric Jackson received an $8,200 campaign... Read More >

Contributors

(8-20-14) Can You Take the ‘Partisan’ out of ‘Partisan Politics’? - Redistricting will not take place for another seven years. Yet the debate has already... more »
    My Richard Nixon Ambivalence   Today is the fortieth anniversary of President Richard Nixon’s resignation address to the nation on August 8, 1974. At that time, I was ambivalent about... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »
(Washington DC)-- Two recent votes on Capitol Hill suggest an overdue and radical departure from our nation's Draconian and costly War on Drugs.  It's a long-overdue discussion (and not just... more »

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