CURLEY WINS COUNTY GOP NOD

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Red Bank Councilman John Curley has captured the second and final spot on the Monmouth County Republican ticket in this year’s freeholder election, GOP committeeman Art Gallagher reports on his More Monmouth Musings blog.

Curley topped Holmdel Mayor Serena DiMaso, 168 votes to 103, in voting at last night’s county GOP convention in Middletown, Gallagher says.

So it’ll be Curley and incumbent Lillian Burry v. Democrats Amy Mallet of Fair Haven and Glenn Mason of Hazlet as the Republicans seek to hold onto their 3-2 majority in Freehold.

Now, what about the impact on Red Bank?

Curley’s selection is likely to have significant repercussions here, where he has been the party standard-bearer against a 4-2 Democratic majority on the borough council. The seats held by Curley and Grace Cangemi will be up for grabs in November in an election in which national and local party politics are likely to make for a combustible brew.

Curley has previously said he wouldn’t seek re-election to the council if he made it onto the freeholder ballot, rejecting a dual-office run as unethical.

Here’s an excerpt from today’s Asbury Park Press coverage of the Curley victory:

Curley’s speech … during which he noted past successes at the polls against Democrats in his hometown and claimed that he personally knocked on “20,000 doors” in grass-roots campaigns over the past six years … made the difference, many delegates said. Each candidate was allowed to address the convention for three to five minutes.

“Somebody mentioned that Curley spoke from the heart. He had a strong speech that drew people to him,” said Rhoda Chodosh, a Manalapan county committeewoman.

“I think things were leaning to Curley, but he pushed it out of reach with his speech,” said Highlands County Committeeman Art Gallagher, author of the More Monmouth Musings political blog. “I think Serena DiMaso made a good showing as well, and I hope she runs for freeholder next year.”

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