Monday, February 16, 2009

LINCOLN DAY '09

Last night's Lincoln Day Dinner (my favorite event!) was a huge success. With nearly 500 in attendance, it exceeded those of the past few years. We were also honored with the presence of President Abe Lincoln, as well as past Holmdel municipal chair Addy Lubkert, a relative of the 16th President.
Atlantic Highlands Mayor Fred Rast welcomed the gathering, and County Chairman Joe Oxley capably emceed the event, and former chairs Adam Puharic (who left early), Fred Niemann and Fred Kniesler were present. Joe reminded potential freeholder candidates of the February 27th deadline for declarations.
Several GOP bloggers were in attendance.
Freeholders Lillian Burry and Rob Clifton attended, along with all three Constitutional Officers: Sheriff Kim Guadagno, County Clerk Claire French and Surrogate Rosemarie Peters.
Former freeholders in attendance included Highlands Mayor Anna Little, who picked up the open bar tab, Bill Barham, Frank Self and Ed Stominski. Former freeholder candidate John Curley worked the room with thank-you cards, and may be gearing up for another run. Former freeholder candidate Jeff Cantor was not in attendance, as he now goes to Carter Day dinners or Jeff Davis Day or Tax Day whatever the hell day the Democrats go to. There had been rumors of an appearance by Freeholder Director Barbara McMorrow, but it appears that they were only rumors.
Curmudgeonly County Counsel Malcolm Carton was there, as was his cousin, veteran Middletown Chairman Peter Carton. Howell Mayor Bob Walsh and his predecessor, Joe DiBella, were both there.
Perhaps the highlight of the evening were the speeches of the two gubernatorial candidates, Chris Christie and Steve Lonegan.
Christie was introduced by Senator Joe Kyrillos, and spoke of the dire situation our state finds itself in and the solutions he proposed. Most Republicans want to see more substance from Christie, and he appeared to be offering just that last night.
Lonegan, who is known for substance, was introduced by Hank Butehorn. In a departure from previous speeches, Lonegan spoke of his personal life, the loss of his father at a young age and the resulting trials the family went through, then his own battles in which he overcame the loss of his eyesight to become successful in business. He believes that it is this can-do spirit which is just what New Jersey needs to get out of the mess it is in.
Both candidates circulated nominating petitions and got signatures.
All in all, a great evening, and a great kickoff for 2009!

1 comment:

Eric Sedler said...

Abe, next time you're going to have to introduce yourself to me...I only saw the speech you (or your clone) gave at the beginning...heh.

As for Freeholder candidates, I don't think John's running, but we definately know Eileen Kean is in. As for others, who knows, I guess we'll know more in the next few weeks or so.

Cantor and crew were too busy passing an Anti-COAH resolution in Marlboro it seems. I wonder if he'll endorse our Gubernatorial nominee, seeing as how his party's candidate hasn't even pushed a delay on COAH, let alone the gutting of it.