County Dems keep E’town choice off ballot

Eatontown — After the head of the Monmouth County Democrats refused to certify a petition to put newly sworn in Borough Councilwoman Christine Caruso on the November ballot, there will be no Democrats running for that term.

Caruso was appointed to the borough council on Sept. 11, following the resignation of councilwoman Jennifer Sherrod. According to a statement from the Eatontown Democratic Committee, they attempted to get Caruso on the November ballot to fill Sherod’s unexpired term, collecting the required number of signatures.

However, this also required the certification of approal of Monmouth County Democratic Chair David Brown, who declined to do so. Brown cited the fact she had just changed party affiliation from a Republican.

In the November 2018 Borough Council election, Caruso ran unsuccessfully as an independent.

The statement from Eatontown Democrats say the county chair’s certification is “typically a routine activity once the municipal committee approves the nomination.”

They also said there was no time to find a replacement nominee and get the signatures in time.

Eatontown Municipal Chairwoman Renata Bodner said, “We selected a very qualified candidate, and we are disappointed that she will not be on the Democratic line this year due to politics, however, we are extremely proud and excited about our four candidates running this November for four other Council seats. We are not about politics as usual, we are about Eatontown.”

The municipal Democrats say that the county has handed the Republicans a win in Eatontown by default.

Democrats are running incumbents Al Baginsky and Tonya Rivera for three-year terms, James David for an unexpired 2-year term, and Bodner for a one-year term.

Repubicans are running Kevin Gonzalez and Maria Escalante for the three-year terms, Joseph Olsavsky for the two-year term, and Edwin Palenzuela and Mark Regan for the two unexpired one-year terms.