ON THE GREEN: PRIMARY RESULTS

By JOHN T. WARD

Only eleven percent of Monmouth County’s registered voters participated in Tuesday’s Democratic and Republic primaries, with surprise outcomes hard to find on the Greater Red Bank Green.

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JERSEY OFFICIALS BLAST SANDY FUND CUTOFF

Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long with Governor Chris Christie in Sea Bright on November 9. Both have joined in on bipartisan condemnation of inaction by the GOP-controlled House. (Click to enlarge)

State and local officials, including Republicans, are expressing outrage Wednesday over Congressional inaction, attributed to the GOP majority, on a $60.4 billion aid package for communities devastated by Hurricane Sandy.

From the Star-Ledger’s NJ.com:

Gov. Chris Christie ripped into House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) today for delaying a vote on billions in federal aid for recovery from Hurricane Sandy.

“There’s only one group to blame for the continued suffering of these innocent victims: The House majority and their speaker, John Boehner,” said Christie at a press conference this afternoon.

Christie, who gave the keynote address at the Republican National Convention last summer, said Congress traditionally puts politics aside for disaster relief but that House Republican leadership had put politics “before our oaths to serve our citizens.”

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SIPPRELLE WINS; LITTLE LEADS GOOCH

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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SCHARFENBERGER HOLDS OFF CHALLENGER

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

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

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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SHE’S RUNNING, NO IFS, ANDS OR BUTTS

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What’s good for the Gooch is good for the… candidate? Two views of Diane Gooch at the Molly Pitcher Inn last night. (Click to enlarge)

Two River Times publisher Diane Gooch announced her run for Congress last night to a packed ballroom at Red Bank’s Molly Pitcher Inn.

The Rumson resident and wife of Wall Street gazillionaire Mickey Gooch promised to bring “common sense” to Washington if she’s successful in ousting sixth-district incumbent Democrat Frank Pallone.

What redbankgreen really wanted to hear the first-time GOP candidate talk about, though, was her fondness for taking photos of strangers’ heinies.

And maybe snap a dorsal shot of her ourselves.

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HALFACRE HITTING THE TRAIL HARD

halfacre-dist12-campaignFair Haven Mayor and candidate for Rush Holt’s 12th district Congressional seat, seen in his office with a map of the district. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

You aren’t going to see much white space on Mike Halfacre’s calendar these days. Maintaining a town, a law practice and working the campaign trail tends to wipe out your free time.

Since announcing his campaign against Democratic incumbent Rush Holt in July, the mayor of Fair Haven has been hard at work trying to gain support across the large swath of New Jersey that is the 12th District — 44 municipalities in five counties that reaches from Halfacre’s hometown to the Delaware River.

With county conventions and a primary looming, Halfacre has been on a dizzying pace on the stump.

“I’m very busy,” he said. “I am out somewhere almost every night of the week.”

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REPORT: GOOCH GUNNING FOR PALLONE

diane-goochTwo River Times publisher Diane Gooch plans to file papers today declaring her candidacy for Congress in a district she doesn’t reside in, a plugged-in Republican reports on his blog.

The vice chair of the Monmouth County GOP plans to take on sixth-district Democrat Frank Pallone, says Art Gallagher, who got the news straight from Gooch herself.

From Gallagher’s MoreMonmouthMusings blog:

“I gave it a great deal of thought and talked to a lot of people,” Gooch said, “I wouldn’t be running unless I thought I could win. I think I can win, not because I am so great, but because Frank Pallone is so bad.”

She really said that.

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HALFACRE HALF-OK WITH STIMULUS MONEY

halfacre-bikerMayor Mike Halfacre in 2008.

With his town having  just landed a whopping $477,000 in federal stimulus money, one might think that Fair Haven mayor and congressional aspirant Mike Halfacre is in a bit of political quandary.

Halfacre, you see, rarely misses an opportunity to bash the Democrat-spearheaded spending plan.

Charles Gibson just asked: What’s in massive stimulus for you?” Halfacre posted on Twitter back in February. “My answer: Not a damn thing!”

That was a couple of weeks after he wrote a blog post in which he called on “all Republicans” to oppose the economic bailout then up for a vote on the Hill. He termed it a “pork-laden and, by most economists’ accounts, ineffective stimulus package.”

Last week, Fair Haven learned it had won approval for the full cost of replacing sidewalks on River Road from Fair Haven Road west, past the Acme supermarket.

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PALLONE PLANS TOWN HALL ON HEALTHCARE

hot-topic1Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. has scheduled a town-hall style Q&A about health insurance reform for Tuesday, August 25 in Red Bank.

But Pallone, a Long Branch Democrat who chairs a House subcommittee with responsibility for oversight of Medicare and other health-related matters, is facing pressure to find a larger venue than the council chambers at borough hall for the meeting.

Red Bank resident Krishna Tyler, on behalf of the vacationing GOP council candidate Kim Senkeleski, is circulating an email calling on recipients to contact Pallone’s office to ask for a change of locale.
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