schlossbach-2Restaurateur and political neophyte Marilyn Schlossbach has quit the race for one of two state Assembly 11th-district seats in Trenton, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.

Schlossbach, owner of Pop’s Garage in Shrewsbury and a slew of restaurants in Asbury Park, saw some of her Asbury Park restaurants damaged by Hurricane Irene, prompting her departure from the race, the news service reported.

“My efforts at this time must be focused on the health of my business, and protecting the jobs it has created,” the AP quoted her as saying.

Among the restaurants she owns with her husband, Scott Szegeski, are Langosta Lounge and a second Pop’s Garage, on the boardwalk; Trinity and the Pope, offering Cajun dishes in downtown Asbury; the Dauphin Grille, a seafood spot in that city’s Berkeley hotel.

Her departure leaves fellow Democrats Vin Gopal, who is also seeking an Assembly seat, and Ray Santiago, the slate’s state Senate candidate, with a hole in the roster. Monmouth County Democrats have until September 13 to name a replacement, the AP says. The Dems had planned a meet-the-candidates event at the Shrewsbury Pop’s Garage Monday, September 12.

The trio had been challenging incumbent Republicans state Senator Jennifer Beck of Red Bank and Assembly members Declan O’Scanlon of Little Silver Mary Pat Anglini of Ocean Township and Caroline Casagrande of Colts Neck.

Also in the race is independent Dan Jacobson, publisher of the Asbury Park-based triCity News.