Saturday, July 11, 2009


Things in Howell had been pretty quiet until recently.
A group of independents, primarily a Republican faction (with some Dems) which opted to bypass the primary process, has held all seats on the Township Council. This group has had the backing of the Howell Democrats for the last few election cycles.
The honeymoon is over.
It appears that there has been a falling out between Mayor Robert Walsh and local Democratic Boss Steve Morlino. Walsh opines that Morlino is miffed that he was not considered for the council vacancy that occured when Walsh was elected mayor. Morlino denies this.
Although this is normally an off year in Howell politics, there will be two unexpired seats up for grabs this November: Walsh's vacancy, and that opened by the resignation of Councilman Michael Howell.
Morlino and the Democrats apparently believe that it is time to run candidates again, as evidenced by this posting on A Better Howell NJ:

With the recent resignation of Council Member Howell from the town council, I am looking for a strong 2nd candidate to round out the Democratic ticket in November. Anyone interested in running should send me a resume by July 15th. We need to make some very necessary changes in the direction Howell is being taken lately. One party (Independents) control is not working. We need to balance out the field. We are seeing the worst managment in Howell in the last 25 years. The I's are a disaster.
E-mail or phone me if you are interested.

Coupled with the Dems' falling out with the Independents is what appears to be at least a partial rapprochement between members of the Walsh group and the local Republican organization, for example, Mike Howell's support of a candidacy of former Mayor Joe DiBella for freeholder back in February. (DiBella never announced.)
Sooooo... we may be in for a rollicking, swashbuckling ride in Howell this fall. Just a note to the local GOP: Stick together, work together, win together.
Victory in the county could hinge on Howell.

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