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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Corzine taps new DEP head

Governor Corzine today picked a career worker from the Department of Environmental Protection to head up the agency.

Mark Mauriello, an Assistant Commissioner who’s worked for the DEP for 28 years, replaces Commissioner Lisa Jackson as she moves up to replace Bradley Abelow as Corzine’s chief of staff.

“This is a pivotal time for all of us who are committed to safeguarding and improving our environment and the quality of life in our communities, with energy and climate change issues being at the top of the list,” said Corzine in a statement. “I look forward to working closely with Mark in the coming year and will rely on his considerable expertise and sound judgment.”

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Mallet still leading in Monmouth with Marlboro and Long Branch provisionals left to be counted

Mallet still leading in Monmouth with Marlboro and Long Branch provisionals left to be counted
The Board of Elections and Democratic and Republican Party operatives run down the provisional ballots, town by town, voter by voter.

FREEHOLD –  The vote stands at 694 provisional ballots for Amy Mallet and 476 for John Curley – not including hand counts - with the count for Manalapan ongoing and Marlboro and Long Branch left to go.

That puts the Fair Haven candidate for Monmouth County Freeholder in a position to win the election, as Long Branch is heavily Democratic and Mallet scored well in Manalapan and Marlboro in the regular vote count.

Prior to the provisionals process, Mallet led Curley by 18 votes overall: 135,688 to 135,670, in this county of 53 towns.  If Mallet defeats Curley, county control of this longtime Republican stronghold will favor the Democrats by 3-2.

Now on the tattered, unresolved edge of the Nov. 4th election, operatives from both parties sit with two Board of Elections reps from each party and a representative from the state attorney general's office at a long table. They all pour town by town over the provisional ballots.

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Dredden would serve as RSC chairman if asked

Republican political consultant George Dredden acknowledged today that he would serve as Republican State Chairman if asked. 

“The position is not vacant. It’s Tom Wilson’s,” he said. 

There is, however, a good chance that Wilson won’t stick around after the primary election to seek another term.  That would leave it up to the Republican gubernatorial nominee to decide who he wants to run the state party. 

“However, if the party would want me to serve, I would serve in any capacity that the party would like for me.  If they would choose for me to be involved in that regard, I would almost certainly do it,” said Dredden.

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Bryant guilty on all counts

Bryant guilty on all counts
A jury convicted former State Sen. Wayne Bryant today on federal corruption charges

Former state Sen. Wayne Bryant has been found guilty on every count of bribery and fraud that he was charged with.

The jury concluded that Bryant, a Democrat who used to represent Camden and Gloucester Counties, was given a low-show job at the University and Medicine and Dentistry in exchange for his political influence in obtaining grants for the school. That job, in turn, significantly boosted his pension.

Today’s verdict comes one day after U.S. Attorney Chris Christie announced that he planned to resign at the beginning of next month – possibly to launch a gubernatorial bid. The conviction puts another high profile feather in his corruption crusader cap.

More from the Courier-Post, Bergen Record and Star-Ledger.

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The Back Room

Asbury Park Press corrects Williams error in Christie report

The Asbury Park Press last night mopped up after NBC anchor Brian Williams overreached when he said the feds had cleared Gov. Chris Christie of wrongdoing in a federal investigation, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: September 19th

NBC News: Federal charges ruled out for Christie in Bridgegate scandal NBC News tonight is reporting that federal investigators say after nine months of investigating Bridgegate there is 'no evidence" that Gov. Chris Christie had advance knowledge about any politically motivated scheme around the bridge lane closures at the...

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Op-Ed

Legislation needed for publicly financed gubernatorial elections

By JEFF BRINDLE It is critical that the Legislature soon enact a pending bill that would ensure the state’s Gubernatorial Public Financing Program is available in the event of a special election for governor.  Not only is there no current legal... Read More >

Contributors

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