pallone-082509Congressman Frank Pallone meets the press following his raucous town hall meeting on health insurance in Red Bank in August, 2009. (Click to enlarge)

Tea Party-backed GOP congressional hopeful Anna Little‘s camp is charging incumbent Frank Pallone with ducking a faceoff on healthcare scheduled for tonight in Red Bank, the Star-Ledger reports.

Both Pallone’s camp and the sponsor of the event claim, however, that there was to be no debate, and the Pallone had never committed to attend. He cites a scheduling conflict.

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Diane Gooch has abandoned her quest for a recount in her GOP primary race against Highlands Mayor Anna Little, the Gooch campaign said in an announcement this afternoon.

just_in1The Rumson millionaire and vice chair of the Monmouth County Republican Party says she supports Little, with whom she shares the goals of smaller government and lower taxes.

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halfacre-for-congressWatching a poorly funded Tea Party-approved candidate throw a scare into an opponent this week, Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre kinda wishes he’d stayed in the GOP primary race in the Congressional 12th District, he tells PolitickerNJ.

Halfacre shut down his effort to unseat incumbent Democrat Rush Holt in late March, after he failed to gain endorsements from GOP leaders in Monmouth and Middlesex counties.

But after seeing David Corsi of Oceanport garner 46 percent of the primary vote Tuesday on just $5,000 raised — versus venture capitalist Scott Sipprelle‘s $640,000 warchest — Halfacre rues not staying in the contest, writes Politicker’s Max Pizarro:

Asked if he regreted not running to the finish, particulalry after seeing Corsi’s victory by 768 votes in the Monmouth County portion of the district, Halfacre said, “Absolutely. I made a mistake. No one could have predicted this election result. If we had any idea the line would have been as weak as it was, we would have stayed in.”

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hot-topic rightNewspaper publisher Diane Gooch is asking for a recount after an apparent loss in the Republican primary for the 6th district to Highlands Mayor Anna Little. according to various reports.

Little, with Tea Party backing an only a fraction of millionaire Gooch’s campaign treasury declared victory Wednesday after a vote tally from Tuesday’s balloting showed her leading Gooch by 105 votes, the Asbury Park Press reported.

Later in the day, the Star-Ledger said 79 votes separated the two candidates, and that Gooch would seek a recount.

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hot-topic rightIt’s not quite tea time in the two congressional districts covering the Red Bank area.

In the 12th district, Tea Party-endorsed Dave Corsi failed in his bid against Princeton millionaire Scott Sipprelle for the Republican nod to take on incumbent  Rush Holt.

Corsi, of Oceanport, won his home county of Monmouth by a vote of 3,345 to 2,577, but came ups short elsewhere and fell by a vote of 8,930 to 7,575, according to the Star-Ledger.

Meanwhile, the outcome of the battle between Rumson newspaper publisher Diane Gooch and Highlands Mayor Anna Little for the GOP nod to challenge incumbent Frank Pallone in the 6th district was unclear early this morning.

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tony-avalloneTony Avallone, last-place finisher in the the Middletown GOP race, says he’ll be back.


The attempt by a Republican upstart to wrest a seat from a Middletown incumbent in November failed in Tuesday’s primary.

Middletown Mayor Gerard Scharfenberger defended his seat on the township committee with 1,914 votes over newcomer Tony Avallone, who came away with 1,211 votes. Scharfenberger’s Republican running mate, Kevin Settembrino, garnered the most votes, with 2,023.

That leaves a November race in which Settembrino and Scharfenberger will vie for two open seats on the committee — one being Scharfenberger’s, and the other held by the committee’s only Democrat, Sean Byrnes, who is seeking re-election. Also in the race is Democrat Mary Mahoney.

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