By Neil Schulman
Election Day is next Tuesday, and while there are no races for congress or other bodies, there are some interesting ones in New Jersey, including locally.
The state level
Both gubernatorial candidates are from Monmouth County. Republican candidate Kim Guadagno, the current Lt. Governor of the state, lives in
Monmouth Beach, and Phil Murphy comes from Middletown.
In the District 11 races (which include Eatontown, Long Branch, Ocean and West Long Branch in The Link News’ coverage area, incumbent Republican Senator Jennifer Beck is being challenged by Democratic candidate Vin Gopal. For the Assembly seats, Republicans Robert Acerra and Michael Whelan are running against incumbent Democrats Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey.
The 11th District is one of the most closely watched races in New Jersey. In 2015, Houghtaling and Dowling took what had traditionally been Republican seats.
In the 12th District, sitting Senator Joseph Kyrillos chose not to seek another term. Republican Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon seeks to fill his seat. Assemblywoman Amy Handlin (R) is running for re-election and Serena DiMaso.
Republican incumbents council members Mark Regan and Donna Mazzella-Deidrichsen are being challenged by Democrats Jennifer Sherod and Bridget Harris.
Voters will also select board of education members, though all candidates there are running unopposed. Barbara VanWagner is seeking a seat on the Monmouth Regional High School board, and Deborah Martinock, Mark Regan Jr., and Shellie Miller are running for three seats on the Eatontown board.
There are five candidates for the three seats. Incumbents Rose Marie Widdis, James Parnell, and Armand Zambrano Jr. are being challenged by Tasha Youngblood Brown, and John Zuidema Jr.
With its non-partisan form of government, council races are not held in November. The next mayoral and council election is May 2018.
Another municipality with a non-partisan government, Monmouth Beach still has board of education elections, though fewer candidates are on the ballot than seats.
Monmouth Beach’s Shore Regional High School slot on the ballot is blank. For the local board, Barbara Kay and Leo Decker are listed, and three seats are available.
Ocean is another non-partisan community without local elections, but there is one candidate on a ballot to fill an unexpired two-year term: John Napolitani, Sr. Residents might also be interested that Deputy Mayor Robert Acerra is running for Assemblyman.
The board of education is another unopposed election, with three candidates seeking three seats.
In addition to the two three-year terms, there are going to be elections to fill the two-year and one-year terms created by council members resigning earlier this year.
Incumbent council members Richard Gallo and Robert Proto (who was appointed to fill one of the resignations), both Republicans, are seeking three year terms. They will be challenged by Democrats Theresa Falcone and James Rimalover.
Councilman Stephen Solan (R), another person appointed to fill a vacancy due to resignation, will run for the two-year term, challenged by Marie Rimalover (D).
Only one person is seeking the one-year term on the ballot, Republican William Deerin.
In Board of Education races, Thomas Welsh is running unopposed for a slot on the Shore Regional Board. There are three slots for the Oceanport Board of Education, but only two people, Cullin Wible and Lisa Harvey, on the ballot.
Two incumbents are seeking re-election, but not together. Councilman John Lamia, a Republican, is running with fellow Republican Pamela Ross. And Democratic candidate Charles Rooney has teamed up with independent candidate Jon Schwartz.
Since Sea Bright is a member of the Oceanport school system, they also have the choices of Wible and Harvey for the three seats.
West Long Branch
Incumbent Republicans Christopher Neyhart and Fred Migliaccio are seeking reelection for the two three-year council seats. Democrats are running just one candidate for council, Jeremy Strauser.
Both the Shore Regional and West Long Branch Board of Education races are competitive. In the two seat race for Shore nominees, incumbents Paul Christopher and Ronald O’Neill are being challenged by Christina Brenner. And there are four candidates for the three West Long Branch board seats: incumbents Paul Christopher and Meaghan Cavanaugh are running, as are Mary Orendorff-Gassman and Michael Waters.