Wednesday, November 16, 2005
IS SHE IS OR IS SHE AIN'T A CANDIDATE?
Recently Monmouth County Republican Committee members received a telephone message supporting the candidacy of Middletown Deputy Mayor Rosemarie D. Peters for the vacancy to occur on the Board of Freeholders as a result of the election of Amy Handlin to the State Assembly. OK, all well and good. When a vacancy occurs people want to fill it. Mrs. Peters has as much a right as anybody else to throw her name in there.
Only she hasn't thrown her name in.
Yesterday (11/15) committee members received a call from Mrs. Peters herself saying that she hadn't authorized the calls, that she was flattered that the calls were made, and that she would make a decision soon as to just whether or not she's running.
So, what would prompt someone to make calls on behalf of an alleged candidate without first checking with that person first? It all seems very strange.
When a vacancy due to a resignation or death occurs on the Board of Chosen Freeholders, the County Executive Committee of the resigned or deceased member's party is convened by its chairman for the purpose of electing an interim replacement. This most recently happened in December 2004 with the resignation of the late Harry W. Larrison, Jr.; Freeholder William C. Barham bested the now-indicted Keyport Mayor John Merla for the spot at that time. Freeholder Handlin has indicated that she would resign from the Board if elected to the Assembly.
A Middletown candidate would seem a logical replacement as Freeholder Handlin is a Middletown resident, but it's more complicated than that. Although Middletown has recently been a reliable GOP stronghold and is the largest municipality in Monmouth County, it no longer comprises as large a percentage of the county, due to growth in other townships, particularly in Western Monmouth County. Howell, in particular has seen quite a lot of growth, as has Marlboro. And being from a huge town is not everything, as Bill Barham is from Monmouth Beach, a smaller borough on the shore. Further, some Republicans may want to blunt the countywide power of former Middletown Mayor Peter Carton, who is the longtime GOP chairman in that township.
At this point I am not aware of any other people declaring themselves candidates for Amy's seat, but it's still early. There will be more. And as I learn their names, I will update.