In 2006 we lost the first freeholder race since 1986 - 20 years ago. The reality is, Andrew Lucas didn't have to lose. The reality also is that the Democrats are now looking at Monmouth County and salivating. Salivating that yet another domino is going to fall.
Let's take a look at what's at stake this year:
All legislative seats are up this year. Wouldn't it be nice to take back both houses? Of course it would! So, let's work together here in our own corner of the state for that goal. We need to hold Districts 11 and 13, and retake the senate seat and one assembly seat in 12. 13 looks OK right now, but the withdrawal of Assemblyman Steve Corodemus opens two vacancies in 11. It is expected that Assemblyman Sean Kean will go for retiring Senator Joe Palaia's seat, but there may be some jockeying by newcomers for the two Assembly positions. OK, but once the choice of candidates is made, people need to put their egos in a drawer and get behind the team. In District 12, a number of names have been bandied about as challengers to the two Democratic legislators, Senator Ellen Kärcher and Assemblyman Michael Panter. Again, let's stay united here.
We don't want to see a Democratic sweep of our legislative districts.
We not only have two freeholders up this year, Rob Clifton and Anna Little, we also have both County Clerk Claire French and Sheriff Joe Oxley having to run for reelection! So ya think the Democrats will be pouring money into the county race? Ya think the Asbury Park Depress will endorse the Democrats, no matter what? Ya think?
Count on it!
Control of the county government is at stake for the first time since the 80's, and the Democrats smell blood. This, sadly, won't be like the 80's, where the Democrats might get control for a year or two and then we're back. No, they are playing for keeps this time. If they get in, it will be very hard to dislodge them. An obvious example is Bergen County, until recently a Republican powerhouse. The GOP became disunited and the Democrats slithered right in. The Bergen Republicans remain split, and the Dems remain solidly in control. Passaic County is another example. Also once under GOP control (The RNC's Mike DuHaime's father was Freeholder Director there.); the Dems got a foothold and are now firmly in possession.
Democrat bucks will be wheeled into Monmouth County from all over the state this year. Let's unite behind our team and make it all a waste of money for the Dems.
Big towns - that means you, Howell and Middletown - get it together.
Howell has no local race this year, so here's an opportunity to put aside local differences and help the county team.
Middletown, like the county, has control at stake. Time to resolve the local issues that have been eroding pluralities, then go forward, or local Democrat Boss Joe Caliendo will be king again like back in the 70's.
Other towns are big enough to make a difference. Places like Wall, Neptune, Ocean, Manalapan, Aberdeen, Freehold Twp. and Hazlet should all do their best not only to keep or regain local control, but to try and build pluralities for the county and legislative teams.