As suddenly as he was back in, he’s out again.
Former state Senator John Bennett III, who stunned GOP party locals two weeks ago when he threw his name in as a candidate for local committeeman from Red Bank, has withdrawn from the contest, according to the Asbury Park Press.
His rationale? Inordinate attention from the Press.
From the story:
When interviewed Wednesday, Bennett was very clear why he dropped out and blamed the Asbury Park Press for the decision.
“Of all the 600 county committee spots in Monmouth County, the only one with a big headline and story was mine,” Bennett said. “It demonstrates the paper wanted to do their own thing with John Bennett.”
…”I wanted to get involved in the local level and help them,” he said. “It’s obvious that cannot be done without having the focus be on me instead of the party.”
…”My days of living under a microscope are past. I will be helpful to my party, and I’ll work hard for my party,” he said. “I don’t need newspapers scrutinizing every part of my life, been there, done that. I prefer to work behind the scenes.”
Bennett, of course, was the subject of a prolonged roasting by the Press over his billing practices with regard to work he did as an attorney for Marlboro Township. He was never charged with wrongdoing, but he lost his senate seat to Democrat Ellen Karcher in 2003 after 24 years in the legistature.
Longtime Little Silver residents, Bennett and his wife bought a house in Red Bank two years ago. A number of party locals were surprised earlier this month to learn not only of his candidacy for committee, but that he now lived in town.