John Carpenter

In Somerset, a huge loss for Florio

Some Republican insiders say the ultra narrow three-vote victory by Patrick Scaglione in the race for Somerset County Freeholder could be a harbinger of growing dissatisfaction with his GOP Chairman Dale Florio.  Florio had "worked his ass off," as one party-leader described it, seeking votes for Bernards Township Committeeman John Carpenter.  At the Republican convention last Thursday, Scaglione, a veteran Bridgewater Councilman, and Carpenter were tied after the third ballot.  Usually County Chairmen get their way when it comes to picking Freeholder candidates.

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Scaglione wins GOP nod in nailbiter with Carpenter

Scaglione wins GOP nod in nailbiter with Carpenter
After bruising battle, Bernards Committeeman John Carpenter, left, congratulates Bridgewater Council President Pat Scaglione

SOMERVILLE – Bridgewater Council President Pat Scaglione prevailed over Bernards Township Committeeman John Carpenter here in their county committee face-off at GOP headquarters on Main Street.  

The final vote tally was Scaglione, 148 votes; and Carpenter, 145 votes.

"I've never seen anything quite this close in a freeholder contest," said Assemblyman Pete Biondi (R-Hillsborough) of a contest settled after four days of county committee voting and three counts this afternoon following an inconclusive vote at last Thursday's convention.

A financial investments manager, the 44-year old Scaglione is a 12-year veteran of the Council.  

"In these tough economic times, I am committed to the best government at an efficient cost," said the GOP freeholder candidate. "I would like to maintain the quality of life for people in Somerset County, where we have some of the best towns in the country."

He will run for Somerset County Freeholder with incumbent Republican Freeholder Jack Ciarettelli against the two nominees from the Democratic Party, Montgomery Township Mayor Cecilia Birge and North Plainfield Councilman Doug Singleterry.

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Deadline nears in Somerset County contest between Carpenter and Scaglione

Deadline nears in Somerset County contest between Carpenter and Scaglione

BRIDGEWATER - It is Election Day in Somerville, where members of the Somerset County Republican Committee have less than an hour to record their votes for either Bernards Committeeman John Carpenter or Bridgewater Council President Pat Scaglione.

Seeking the support of their party to run on the line here with incumbent Republican Freeholder Jack Ciattarelli, Scaglione and Carpenter deadlocked with an equal number of votes at last Thursday’s Somerset County Republican Convention at the Elk’s Lodge.

The pair beat former prosecutor Thomas Roughneen, who endorsed Scaglione on Friday. Carpenter runs with the support of Somerset County Republican Chairman Dale Florio.

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Somerset grinds to a halt as Carpenter and Scaglione deadlock

Somerset grinds to a halt as Carpenter and Scaglione deadlock

BRIDGEWATER - In a third ballot contest to win organizational backing to run for Somerset County freeholder, Bernards Committeeman John Carpenter and Bridgewater Council President Pat Scaglione have tied at the Elks Lodge tonight.

Republican sources in Somerset County say committee members will vote tomorrow through Monday to determine the winner and the candidate the committee will back to succeed Freeholder Director Rick Fontana.

Scaglione and Carpenter defeated former prosecutor Thomas Roughneen on first ballot.

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Christie wins decisively in Somerset

At the end of this GOP convention cycle - a process that has been mostly public agony for those gubernatorial candidates not named Chris Christie - the Somerset County Republican Committee will back the former U.S. Attorney.

Former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan showed he has some legs left here as the candidates head beyond the county committee processes (with the sole convention of Hunterdon remaining next Tuesday) on their way to connect with voters prior to the June Primary. 

But Christie still dusted him.

At the organization's convention in Bridgewater tonight, Christie received 204 votes, former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan received 56 votes, Assemblyman Richard Merkt got 28, Franklin Mayor Brian D. Levine 10, and inventor David Brown 1.

In a contested freeholder race, the committee will go to a second ballot vote to decide between Bernards Committeeman John Carpenter and Bridgewater Council President Pat Scaglione.

Either Carpenter or Scaglione will run with incumbent Freeholder Jack Ciattarelli. 

Former prosecutor Thomas Roughneen is out.

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And then there were three: Somerset candidates campaign in North Plainfield

And then there were three: Somerset candidates campaign in North Plainfield
Bernards Committeeman John Carpenter makes his pitch Tuesday night.

NORTH PLAINFIELD - It’s down to three men in the contest to succeed Somerset County Freeholder Director Rick Fontana, who sat in the audience at a local Republican Party screening here last night and observed the unfolding low-key drama.

On April 2nd, the full Somerset County Republican Committee will assess Bernards Committeeman John Carpenter, former prosecutor Tom Roughneen of Watchung, and Bridgewater Council President Pat Scaglione and decide who to back for the party nomination. Montgomery Township Committeeman Mark Caliguire dropped out of the race earlier this week.

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Caliguire ends freeholder candidacy

Caliguire ends freeholder candidacy
Montgomery Township Committeeman Mark Caliguire

BRIDGEWATER - Montgomery Township Committeeman Mark Caliguire has dropped his freeholder bid, according to Somerset County GOP sources.

Caliguire had hoped to secure his party's backing to run for a seat vacated by retiring Freeholder Director Rick Fontana, but he told Somerset County Republican Chairman Dale Florio tonight that he does not intend to stay in the contest. 

That leaves the following candidates to screen before the GOP County Committee on April 2: Bernards Committeeman John Carpenter, former prosecutor Tom Roughneen, and Bridgewater Council President Pat Scaglione. 

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Sordillo won't run for Somerset freeholder

Sordillo won't run for Somerset freeholder
Victor Sordillo

Warren Deputy Mayor Victor Sordillo this afternoon said he would not enter the GOP race for Somerset County Freeholder, denying claims by sources that he was poised to enter the contest.

Sordillo, an unsuccessful candidate for freeholder in 2007, who failed last year in his 7th District Congressional bid, said he won't run this year. 

That leaves the following candidates, who will screen before the GOP County Committee on April 2 for a seat being vacated by Freeholder Director Rick Fontant: Bernards Committeeman John Carpenter, Montgomery Township Committeeman Mark Caliguire, former prosecutor Tom Roughneen, and Bridgewater Council President Pat Scaglione. 

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Scaglione enters race for Somerset Freeholder

Scaglione enters race for Somerset Freeholder
Bridgewater Council President Pat Scaglione says he'll seek the Republican nomination for Somerset County Freeholder.

BRIDGEWATER – Bridgewater Council President Pat Scaglione earlier today talked to Dale Florio and notified the Somerset County Republican chair of his intentions to pursue a seat on the Freeholder Board.

“I’m a 12-year council veteran and I’m in the race,” Scaglione told PolitickerNJ.com tonight, at a candidates’ forum sponsored by the Bridgewater Republican Committee, where Scaglione and his fellow competitors made their respective cases.

Montgomery Township Committeeman Mark Caliguire, Bernards Committeeman John Carpenter and former prosecutor Thomas Roughneen are also vying for the seat being vacated by retiring Freeholder Director Rick Fontana.

“The Democrats have made such a mess of the state budget, that our budgets are really hurting,” said Caliguire, who pledged if elected to examine greater shared and regional services.

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Whitman won't run for freeholder

Whitman won't run for freeholder
Kate Whitman, the daughter of former Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, says she won't seek the Republican nomination for Somerset County Freeholder in 2009.

After considering running for a seat left vacant on the Somerset County Freeholder Board, Kate Whitman of Peapack-Gladstone today announced that she has decided not to screen for the position before the Republican Committee here, she wrote in a letter to supporters.

“While I was heartened by the level of support and encouragement that I was receiving, this is simply not the right time for me personally and professionally,” said Whitman, the daughter of former Gov. Christie Todd Whitman, who placed second behind Leonard Lance in a run for Congress in the 7th District last year and screened unsuccessfully for freeholder in 2007. 

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 18, 2014

Fulop endorses Smith in Bayonne mayoral raceBAYONNE - Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop parachuted into the Bayonne mayoral race on Thursday night by endorsing incumbent Mayor Mark Smith."It is a pleasure to be with you here, Mark," said Fulop to a crowd of more than 125 supporters at a...

Op-Ed

The future of NJ Politics should not be politicians investigating politicians

By JON BRAMNICK Voices around the country agree with our concern that "bipartisan committee led by John Wisniewski is partisan." Below are observers who agree Wisneiwski's committee is not bipartisan: Chuck Todd, NBC News: "Democrats made a mistake... Read More >

Contributors

(4-16-14) New Jersey Vote By Mail Law - The voter turnout for New Jersey’s November gubernatorial election was the lowest since the days of prohibition, coming... more »
When it comes to profiling Christie, facts are for wussies (4/10/14) - As the national media stories on our Guv pile up, expect more blunders about the Garden State.... more »
This week I begin a series called Dispatches from Somewhere Else. Based on my on-going experiences as an everyman in New Jersey politics, these Dispatches review the hollowness of... more »
Watching Governor Chris Christie's shocking BridgeGate implosion, it's easy to forget the time when he truly seemed unstoppable.  Blessed with incredible political gifts and a Jersey bluster to match,... more »

Quote of the Day

Quote of the day

"This is my first Mark Smith event. There have been a lot of changes in Hudson County over the last year and a half, and the most important change that has happened is that there really is unity. For the first time, we really are working together. Despite political differences. Mark and I have worked very hard to repair that. I'm really happy to be here in support of him, because I recognize that when you work together, politics becomes secondary and you really have time to focus on government, which is the most important thing." - Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop

- PolitickerNJ.com

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