Friday, October 07, 2005

Place yer bets!

All right Monmouth County folks, there's about a month to the election. I keep hearing poll numbers that contradict each other from my sources in Democrat and Republican camps. I'd like to hear your commentary about it.

I'm not going to predict, but I will speculate on the races, as I see them from the ground level. If I'm seriously off-target I expect mocking by all!

Monmouth County Freeholder Race
William Barham & Lillian Burry (Rep.) VS. Rebecca Aaronson & Barbara McMorrow (Dem.)

    The APP's Club Monmouth series but a dent in the chrome engine of the all-Republican Freeholder board. But, more likely, the harder blow may have been when former long-time Freeholder Director "the Governor of Monmouth County" Harry Larrison was arrested on bribery charges.
    Barham and particularly Burry have a reputation for being no-nonsense office-holders. Will Aaronson and McMorrow be able to communicate to the voters their message that continuing the Republican stronghold in Monmouth is bad government?

13th District Race
Amy Handlin & Sam Thompson (Rep.) VS. Michael Dasaro & Bill Flynn (Dem.)

Handlin, despite her 15-year tenure as a freeholder, has managed to very shrewdly cast a public image as a "reformer" (and having a kow-towing press never hurts any either). Will Dasaro and Flynn be able to communicate their message that Handlin is a hypocrite, having been on the periphery of the scandals surrounding the MC Republican Organization?
    Handlin, to the best of my knowledge, hasn't made any campaign stops in any town other than Middletown and the Democrat-stronghold of Aberdeen. Officials in Keansburg and Keyport, two municipalities in the 13th District, say they haven't even seen Freeholder Handlin in their town in recent years. It seems that Handlin and the MC Republican Party is counting on the strength of Middletown to carry to this election.
    Another question is how will Thompson fare without his long-time running mate Azzolina? Azzolina, for whatever the woes in Middletown, always had a strong reputation with labor and carried 25% of the Democratic vote.
    A lot will depend on voter turn-out and how well the Democrats in the traditionally working-class areas of the 13th District are able to mobilize their base. Same for Republicans in the white-collar areas of Middletown and Holmdel. The Clean Elections program threw a monkeywrench into this election and more will depend on grassroots efforts than press and messaging.

12th District Race
Declan O'Scanlon & Jennifer Beck (Rep.) VS. Mike Panter & Bob Morgan (Dem.)

Panter & Morgan have managed to create a new breed of Democrat - fiscally responsible Democrat - unseen in other parts of the state. It's not just good government, it's also pragmatic: Democrats in Monmouth County will not appeal to the Republican demographic by falling in line with Democrat heavy-weights in Trenton.
    With the state and county Republicans having written off the 12th District after Bennett's defeat in 2003, O'Scanlon & Beck have had a tough time getting attention to their message. But O'Scanlon & Beck are both fighters. They will throw 150% into their campaign come hell or high water. Whatever the outcome in this election, Beck will be a force to be reckoned with in the future. Republicans would be smart to look to Beck for the Freeholder line when Freeholder Ted Narozanic retires.

11th District Race
Steve Corodemus & Sean Kean (Rep.) VS. Matt Doherty & Jim Reilly (Dem.)

The state Democrats have poured a lot of money into the 11th District with a frantic stream of press releases that seem to be making a dent. Not to mention the thousands of dollars in cable ad buys.
    Corodemus and Kean haven't taken the blitz lying down, painting their opponents as state Democratic machine insiders. Corodemus and Kean also have established an environmental record that matters in the minds of 11th District voters.
    The 11th District race will be close, but I think the Democrats will have difficulty unseating the Republican incumbents.

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At 7:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are Medrow and Kolibas the republicans running in Hazlet twins?

At 8:12 PM, Blogger Jackie Corley said...

Um, no. Definitely not twins and not related.

At 9:07 AM, Blogger Frank said...

If this is not the year that the incumbents are rejected, than it will never happen. The indictments, ever increasing property taxes and the Club Monmouth series in the APP should get the voters out to the polls. We need change.

At 8:45 AM, Blogger Jackie Corley said...

The potential for a Democrat sweep is there. It just remains a question as to whether or not the Democrats have communicated their message effectively and whether or not the voters digested or even cared about that message.

At 12:31 PM, Blogger Frank said...

Jackie I'm not so sure that the democrats necessarily need a message, other than to drive home the fact of the incumbents failures.

The APP has opened my eyes to the incredible waste in this county, and how entrenched it is. My feeling is to give someone else a chance. We need a cultural change. Freeholders, mayors, township committees are meant to serve the people. I think we lost sight of that somewhere along the way. It seems to me that they are all self serving.

How many automobiles has the county auctioned off since the Club Monmouth article. None.

Have we done away with any of the part-time pension benefits?

They just don't get it.

At 10:35 AM, Blogger Jackie Corley said...

It's really hard to guess how Monmouth County will react. Monmouth County's demographic has been traditionally heavily Republican. Will all the negative press cause voters to switch their traditional voting patterns? It remains to be seen.


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