castlemanLittle Silver Mayor Suzanne Castleman is calling it quits. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)


Monday was the deadline for candidates to file for November’s elections, and in the sleepy towns of Rumson, Little Silver and Fair Haven, where Republicans dominate and election outcomes are all but foregone conclusions, the big news is who’s not running for re-election.

Here’s a rundown of who’s in and who’s out in those towns.

ben-dayRumson Councilman Ben Day will run on the Republican side with Council President Shaun Broderick and Mayor John Ekdahl. Councilman Jim Banahan, below, won’t run again for Fair Haven council. (Photos by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

jim-banahan• In Little Silver, Mayor Suzanne Castleman is hanging it up. Councilman Bob Neff will look to replace her.

Now in his second term, Neff has all but locked up the job unless an independent candidate comes forward. No Democrat filed to run.

“With Suzie’s departure, she leaves huge shoes to fill,” Neff said. “It’s sort of a daunting task.”

For the two seats open on the council, Democrat Councilman Dan O’Hern Jr. will run for another term alongside newcomer Dane Mihlon. Councilman Dan Levine did not file because he is an independent, and has until June to do so.

• Mayor John Ekdahl is going for another term in Rumson, with Councilman Ben Day and Council President Shaun Broderick both seeking re-election.

As it was last year, it will be a contested race, with Phil Wagner as the Democrat challenger.

The run, Wagner acknowledges, is more or less an exercise in futility in Republican-rich Rumson, but that doesn’t mean people shouldn’t have a choice, he said.

He’s running on a platform to bring more transparency to a town in which he says decisions are made before anything goes public and information is kept close to the vest.

“You can’t even get information out of this town. It’s such a closed shop over there,” Wagner said. “You go to a council meeting and they have their pre-meeting and everything is all decided before you even get there. It’s kind of hard to see what they’re doing, that it’s hard to even know what to criticize.”

• Fair Haven Councilman Jim Banahan is passing on his re-election opportunity, and Republican Susan Sorensen will fill his spot.

Councilman Jerome Koch will run again. No Democrats filed, which Mayor Mike Halfacre said is typical; if there is a candidate, they historically choose to be write-ins.