Monmouth Republicans Sweep County Races
Freeholders Curley and DiMaso defeat challengers William Shea and Kevin Lavan; incumbent French best Steinhorn in county clerk bid.
The Monmouth County Republicans will retain a 5-0 majority on the Board of Chosen Freeholders.
With 99 percent of districts reporting, Freeholder Director John Curley and Freeholder Serena DiMaso led their Democratic opponents William Shea and Kevin Lavan by over 25,000 votes, according to unofficial results from the Monmouth County Board of Elections.
"We are gathered here tonight to make sure that what you have entrusted in us remains and creates the greatest county in the state of New Jersey," Curley said during Monmouth County Republican Committee’s election party at South Gate Manor in Freehold Tuesday night.
Curley, a Middletown resident, had 134,510 votes to Shea’s 105,356. The win gives Curley a second full term on the county governing body. Shea, of Howell, lost a bid for freeholder in 2011.
DiMaso, a former Holmdel mayor, had 132,839 tallies to Lavan’s 105,124 in the bid for an unexpired one-year term.
Lavan, who previously served as a mayor in Hazlet, thanked his supporters and congratulated Curley and DiMaso on their victory.
"I congratulate my two opponents on their win. I think we did well with the campaign even with the conditions the past week," Lavan said. "I want to thank everybody who voted for me."
DiMaso thanked supporters at South Gate Manor and indicated she was ready to hit the ground running when her freeholder seat is on the ballot for a full term in 2013.
"I promise you tonight and again next November when I have to do it all over again I will give you over 1,000, 2,000, 3,000 percent--whatever I have to give you I will do it," DiMaso said. "I will do whatever I have to do to make sure Monmouth County is the place you want it to be. I am so proud to be here I am so proud to be a freeholder."
In the race for Monmouth County clerk, Republican incumbent M. Claire French, a resident of Wall, bested Democrat Michael Steinhorn 144,126 to 97,692. Steinhorn, who resides in Rumson, made an unsuccessful run for Monmouth County surrogate in 2011.
Steinhorn offered his congratulations to French and said he was pleased with the campaign. In particular, he appreciated the opportunity to highlight issues with ballot placement during the race. During the past 33 election cycles, the Republicans have drawn the first column on the election ballot for 30 of them, Steinhorn said.
"I was really excited to get my message about about the county clerk's office and the issue with ballot positions," he said.
He noted that the storm had a negative impact on voter turnout as compared to the last presidential election.
"The storm had a terrible impact," he said. "I think 40,000 fewer people voted this year than in 2008."
French, who will enter her fourth term in office, acknowledged the challenge of closing out a campaign in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which left nearly all of Monmouth without power.
"I know this campaign had an odd ending, instead of saying 'would you vote for me' when I knocked on people's doors, I was saying 'can I have a warm shower?'" she told the crowd at South Gate Manor. "I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support all those 15 years, and I have the privilege to continue for another five."