38°F overcast clouds

RED BANK: SPECIAL-ELECTION PLANS MULLED

One issue to be resolved: whether to hold a weekend of early voting at borough hall. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Following the will of voters as expressed in November, Red Bank officials have begun organizing a special election in May.

That’s when voters will return to the polls, this time to choose a mayor and six council members to be seated under an all-new form of government July 1. More →

RED BANK: HORGAN LOOKS BACK, AND AHEAD

Former Councilwoman Kathy Horgan at home in December, above, and on the night of her first council win, in 2007, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

What’s a 77-year-old former Red Bank councilwoman to do when her political career ends and she’s suddenly got loads more free time?

Go back to college, maybe. That’s one item on Kathy Horgan‘s bucket list, she told redbankgreen.

More →

RED BANK: REFERENDUM ON CHANGE SET

Chairwoman Nancy Facey-Blackwood at the Charter Study Commission’s final meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank residents will decide whether to give the town’s governmental structure an historic overhaul following action by the Charter Study Commission Tuesday night.

Adopting its final report en route to dissolving itself, the commission made one last tweak to the November referendum, calling for run-off elections in cases where no candidate wins a majority of votes.

More →

CANDIDATE Q&As: MIDDLETOWN

election_2010_qa

Earlier this month, redbankgreen emailed questionnaires to local candidates for public office in towns with contested elections on November 2. Beginning today, we’re running their replies, starting with those from Middletown, where four candidates are vying for two seats on the five-member Township Committee. The committee members, not voters, select the town’s mayor.

Here’s the Middletown ballot: middletown-ballot-2010

The replies are arranged below in alphabetical order. Next week, we’ll have the replies from candidates in Sea Bright, Rumson and Red Bank.

COUNCIL UNLIKELY TO FILL LEHNERT’S SEAT

fh-boro-hallTwo weeks before he took his own life, Councilman John Lehnert had informed Mayor Mike Halfacre that he was ending his re-election bid, Halfacre says.

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Though Fair Haven’s Republican committee has suggested three candidates to fill the council seat left empty by John Lehnert, who committed suicide last week, the borough council has no intention of filling the spot on an interim basis, Mayor Mike Halfacre tells redbankgreen.

In fact, GOP officials had already begun the process of replacing Lehnert on the November 2 ballot after Lehnert told Halfacre about three weeks ago that he was ending his re-election bid, Halfacre says. Lehnert’s withdrawal had not previously been publicly disclosed.

“I think out of respect for John we should leave the seat vacant until the end of his term” on December 31, Halfacre said.

More →

GOOCH DROPS CHALLENGE

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.

More →

GOOCH FIGHTS ON AS COUNT GOES TO LITTLE

hot-topic right

Highlands Mayor Anna Little has won the GOP primary for the 6th-district run against incumbent Congressman Frank Pallone, Monmouth County officials say, according to the Asbury Park Press.

But millionaire publisher Diane Gooch of Rumson is clinging to hope and won’t concede to Little without a recount of all 13,000-plus votes in the district, a Gooch lawyer tells the newspaper.

More →

WHO’S RUNNING, AND WHO ISN’T

menna-052609-2The path to a second term appears unobstructed for Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna.

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Mayors Pasquale Menna and Mike Halfacre, of Red Bank and Fair Haven, respectively, don’t appear to have any competition in their re-election bids this year.

Both men filed petition paperwork on Monday, the state deadline, to run for re-election. No one else filed for their seats.

But they could face competition if independents write-in for the June 8 primary and November 2 general election ballots.

Menna told redbankgreen that the absence of an opponent “doesn’t mean anything. ” He said he’s only concerned with his role the next four years as the borough’s top executive.

“I can only keep on doing what I’ve been doing and do it the best I can,” he said.

More →

IT’S ALL-GOP IN FAIR HAVEN

fh-voterA voter who asked not to be identified signs in with her daughter at her side at the Fair Haven Fire House yesterday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By a wide margin, Fair Haven voters went straight down the Republican column when casting their votes Tuesday.

More →

RED BANK DEMS WIN COUNCIL SQUEAKER

election-2009-localIn the closest council race in recent memory, incumbent Red Bank Democrats Mike DuPont and Art Murphy have won re-election to the borough council.

Republican political newcomers Kim Senekeleski and Rob Lombardi have conceded.

More →