By Neil Schulman
Compared to some previous years, the 2011 elections are low-key. Eatontown, Sea Bright, Oceanport, and West Long Branch all have local elections, but in many cases the races are more subdued than last year.
Oceanport has a quiet election where the incumbents are unopposed for two three-year council terms, and the mayor term. Mayor Michael Mahon and his running mates Richard Gallo and Ellynn Kahle are all seeking re-election unopposed. All three are Republicans.
On the other hand, while only two candidates are listed on the ballot, a write-in candidate is also seeking one of the two available seats on council in West Long Branch. And Sea Bright has a three-way race for mayor, and four candidates seeking two council seats. See sidebars for details.
In Eatontown, four candidates are seeking two seats. They were profiled in previous weeks.
The other communities in The Link’s coverage area, Long Branch, Monmouth Beach, and Ocean Township, have non-partisan elections, which are held in May.
Due to redistricting, some of the sitting state senators and assembly members are running in different legislative districts this year, but they’re all still in the race. Monmouth Beach, Oceanport, and Sea Bright have become part of the 13th District, with other communities in The Link’s coverage area in the 11th District.
In the 11th, Senator Jennifer Beck and Assemblywomen Caroline Casagrande and Mary Pat Angelini, all Republicans, are seeking re-election to office. Beck and Casagrande used to represent the 12th District. They’re being challenged by Democrats Ray Santiago for Senate, and Vin Gopal and Kathy Horgan for Assembly. Also running is independent candidate Dan Jacobson under the “Demand a Voice” platform.
In the 13th District, Republican Senator Joe Kyrillos Jr., and Assembly members Amy Handlin and Declan O’Scanlon will seek to hold on to their seats. They’re being opposed by Democrats Kevin Lavan and Patrick Short. The Constitution Party is fielding Steve Boracchia for Senate and Frank Cottone and Bill Lawton for Assembly.
According to the New Jersey Constitution Party’s website, “It is our goal to limit the federal government to its delegated, enumerated, Constitutional functions and to restore American jurisprudence to its original Biblical common-law foundations.”
Voters will also be asked to vote for two County Freeholders. Lillian Burry, a Republican, and Amy Mallet, a Democrat, are incumbents in the race. Republican Gary Rich and Democrat William Shea are seeking seats, as are independent Thomas Markowski and Patrick Noble of the Socialist Party.
Voters will also decide on a ballot question, on whether to amend the State Constitution to allow the legislature to legalize gambling on sporting events at casinos and racetracks, when that becomes permitted by federal law.
The amendment would, if federal law changes, allow gambling on professional, college and amateur sporting events, as long as they don’t take place in New Jersey or involve a New Jersey team.