LITTLE SILVER: BRANDT ON THE OUTS WITH FD

rick brandt little silve nj fireRick Brandt on the scene of a June, 2017 condo fire in Little Silver. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

ELECTION 2019A Republican candidate for mayor in Little Silver is in hot water with the volunteer fire department in which he’s a member.

Rick Brandt, who’s challenging incumbent Mayor Bob Neff in the GOP primary, is under suspension by the department for improper use of imagery, redbankgreen has learned.

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RED BANK: AIM OF GOP PACT DISPUTED

Cindy Burnham says she agreed to the terms set above by her then-fellow Republican Linda Schwabenbauer in order to secure GOP support for her council presidency. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Former Red Bank Councilwoman Cindy Burnham got to be council president in 2016 only after agreeing to toe the line with her fellow Republicans, she claims.

Now, out of office for almost a year, Burnham is airing a backroom deal she entered with her party colleagues to attack onetime ally Linda Schwabenbauer over a purported lack of transparency.

But Schwabenbauer, seeking her second council term in Tuesday’s election, says the agreement isn’t the dirty laundry Burnham claims it to be.

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RED BANK: BECK BLASTS TRUMP

“There are no ‘very fine’ Nazis or members of the KKK,” said state Senator Jen Beck, seen here at the Mayor’s Ball in 2015. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Republican State Senator Jen Beck on Wednesday joined a chorus of lawmakers condemning President Trump for blaming “both sides” in violent clashes between white-supremacist marchers and their opponents in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend.

Beck blasted Trump’s comments as “outrageous,” and called on him to retract and apologize for them.

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RED BANK: CLANCY DISAVOWS DIVISIVE TEXT

Michael Clancy in 2015. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank Republican Chairman Michael Clancy on Wednesday disavowed a text message that a party loyalist had termed a “disgusting” slap at the borough’s immigrant community.

Amid renewed calls for his resignation from the borough Human Relations Advisory Committee, Clancy sent redbankgreen a statement in which he expressed a “deep empathy for immigrants and children of immigrants, who live in fear of deportation.”

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RED BANK: VISCOMI DOUBLE-BARRELS CLANCY

Sue Viscomi at a 2015 board of education meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[Correction: The date of a controversial text was incorrectly reported in the original version of this article. References to it below have been corrected.]

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A Red Bank Republican loyalist blasted party Chairman Michael Clancy Tuesday, one day after she was bypassed in favor of a political newcomer to run for borough council this year.

Sue Viscomi, who serves on the board of education, also took aim at Clancy for what she said was a “dumbfounding” and “disgusting” text she claims he sent to her and three GOP council members last month in February asking for a list of undocumented alien students so he could “mail it to ICE,” referring to the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency.

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RED BANK: BECK SITS OUT TRUMPFEST

jen beck 052715State Senator Jen Beck, seen here with local Republicans in 2015, passed on this week’s Republican National Convention. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Election_2016_PlainFour months after saying Governor Chris Christie should choose between Donald Trump and New Jersey, Republican State Senator Jen Beck of Red Bank is sitting out her party’s national convention this week.

While Christie is in Cleveland carrying water for the prospective GOP nominee, Beck was back home, telling Paul Brubaker of the Backgrounder podcast that she feels “conflicted” about Trump’s ascendance.

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RED BANK: DI SOMMA QUITS AS GOP CHAIR

taylor whelan disomma 112015Sean Di Somma, right, with successful council candidates Mark Taylor, left, and Mike Whelan last November. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Sean Di Somma won’t be staying on as Red Bank Republican chairman after all, according to a published report.

Di Somma informed Monmouth County GOP officials by email Thursday that he won’t seek a second term, which was to have begun this month, according to the report by More Monmouth Musings, a conservative publication based in Highlands.

MMM’s Art Gallagher reports that Michael Clancy, whose failed Red Bank board of education candidacy last fall was studded with controversy over his eligibility to run as well as his positions, is hoping to succeed Di Somma.

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RUMSON MAN TAPPED AS TRUMP BAGMAN

The driveway to Eisenberg’s West River Road home, as seen in 2012. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Election_2016_PlainLewis Eisenberg of Rumson will lead a joint money-raising effort for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and two other organizations, NJ.com reported Wednesday.

The Republican National Committee and the Trump campaign announced Eisenberg’s involvement in the self-professed billionaire’s pursuit of the White House Tuesday night, according to the report.

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RED BANK: DI SOMMA TO STAY AS GOP CHAIR

disomma 1103152Sean Di Somma on election night 2015. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Sean Di Somma, whose first two years as Red Bank Republican chairman have been marked by both the party’s resurgence and bitter infighting, will stay on in the post, he tells redbankgreen.

Though he said he had told party loyalists on Sunday that he would forego a second term in order to devote more time to his wife and infant daughter, Di Somma said Wednesday that calls by “internet trolls” and “local Democrats” for his resignation convinced him to stay for a second term, which begins in June, and through the November election.

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RED BANK: BECK TO CHRISTIE: NJ OR TRUMP

jen beck 012216 3State Senator Jen Beck says the governorship “is more than a full-time job.” Below, Christie in Sea Bright in 2013. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

SB christie 6 082813State Senator Jen Beck of Red Bank says it’s time for Governor Chris Christie to choose between Donald Trump and New Jersey.

Adding to the chorus of criticism over Christie’s recent endorsement of Trump, Beck said Christie “cannot continue serving as our governor” if he’s going to be on the campaign trail with him, according to a report by app.com Wednesday afternoon.

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SEA BRIGHT: MURPHY QUITS COUNCIL

READ MURPHY 102512Read Murphy with television reporters shortly before Hurricane Sandy hit Sea Bright. He’s expected to be succeeded by John Lamia, below, who outpolled him in last month’s GOP primary. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

john lamia 061814A month after coming in tied for second in the Sea Bright Republican primary, incumbent Councilman Read Murphy has resigned, according to a published report.

After about 25 non-continuous years on the governing body, “stick a fork in me. I am done,” Murphy told redbankgreen Thursday afternoon.

He said friction with the rest of the council over both his “unilateral” approach to serving and his request to be hired as the town’s beach manager had taken the “fun” out of the job.

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RED BANK: VISCOMI QUITS COUNCIL RACE

Suzanne Viscomi, center, in 2012 with then-running mate Allen Palma. Cindy Burnham, below, continues her quest for a council seat.  (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank GOP’s difficulties in mounting a sustained challenge to the all-Democrat borough council continue.

The Asbury Park Press reports that Suzanne Viscomi, whose own running mate bailed on her during their 2012 council run, has quit the 2013 race, in which two seats are at stake.

There was no official announcement of the ticket change, and the Press reports that local GOP chairman Jack Minton declined to say why Viscomi withdrew.

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FAIR HAVEN GOES FOR INCUMBENTS

Poll workers at Fair Haven’s Youth Center on election day 2012. (Photo by Rebecca Desfosse. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Voters in storm-darkened Fair Haven returned two incumbents to the borough council for new terms Tuesday.

Republicans Bob Marchese and Eric Jaeger outpolled a pair of Democratic challengers, Dorothy Neceda and Susan O’Brien.

Mayor Ben Lucarelli was uncontested in his race to serve out the remaining two years of his predecessor, Mike Halfacre.

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ROMNEY EXPECTED IN RUMSON TONIGHT

The long driveway to the Rumson home of former Port Authority chairman Lewis Eisenberg, where Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is expected to appear at a private fundraising dinner with about 50 guests tonight, according to the Bergen Record. (Click to enlarge)

MIZZI: ‘I’M NOT GOING ANYWHERE’

gopGOP candidates Rob Lombardi and Joe Mizzi, center, react to poll results at Anna Little’s campaign headquarters on Bridge Avenue Tuesday night. (Click to enlarge)

Joe Mizzi was excited Tuesday night, thinking this might be the one.

As treasurer of the local GOP for the past four years, and one of its two candidates for Red Bank council, he said he felt he and running mate Rob Lombardi had a good shot at displacing one or both Democratic incumbents on the ballot, Kathy Horgan and Sharon Lee.

It boded well that voter turnout appeared to have been “suprisingly strong,” he told redbankgreen shortly after polls closed, and he’d heard positive feedback from those who’d cast ballots.

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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.

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HALFACRE REGRETS EARLY EXIT FROM 12TH

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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FAIR HAVEN GOP: FOCUSED ON FINANCE

marchese-lucarelliBob Marchese and Ben Lucarelli in Lucarelli’s Red Bank office. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

This year’s Republican candidates for Fair Haven borough council haven’t gotten caught up in the latest political buzzword “change.” For Ben Lucarelli and Bob Marchese, it’s more of an “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality.

But that doesn’t mean the GOP running mates will be able to sit pat if elected to the council. As Lucarelli sees it, change is coming whether anybody likes it or not.  The state’s fiscal problems, he said, will have an effect on small towns like Fair Haven because they’ll lose a big percentage of state aid. He and Marchese are more concerned about managing that change rather than creating it.

“Fair Haven is not broke. The state of New Jersey is broke and shattered,” Lucarelli, owner of Lucarelli Construction Company in Red Bank, said.

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