Monmouth GOP Sweeps, Looks Forward To 2014
Monmouth County Republicans celebrated a landslide victory over their Democratic counterparts Tuesday night, all the while keeping their minds set on the challenges that lie ahead in 2014.
Committee Chairman John Bennett called it a "smashing victory," proudly acknowledging the Republican Party's dominance in front of a packed crowd in the upper room of Mc Loone's Asbury Grille.
The atmosphere was buzzing even before the polls closed Tuesday, and after the sweep was announced, the buzz turned to yelling and cheering as each re-elected incumbent took their turn at the podium.
It was a time for celebration and reflection, but most importantly, a time to ask what's next?
Sheriff Shaun Golden, who became the first county sheriff in New Jersey to offer an emergency information app for the iphone this year, will be serving his second term. Golden says one of his goals is to continue to improve school security and homeland security.
Freeholder Director Tom Arnone was excited about the economic development over his first three years in office, and said the next three will be even better.
"Tourism industry is going to fly through Monmouth County, says Arnone. "They think the first three years was great, we got a lot more work to do and we're going to move forward."
In District 11, the Beck, Angelini, Casagrande ticket proved too hot to handle for Democratic challengers Brantley, Zipprich and McMillan. Re-elected Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, the youngest ever to be elected in New Jersey, is excited to get back to work on sick and vacation pay out reform and civil service reform.
"And all those things that don't sound that exciting," says Casagrande. "But at the end of the day, [they] are the steps we need to take to solve New Jersey's property tax problem."
Along with civil service reform and sick time pay out, Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini wants to focus on the heroin epidemic in Monmouth and Ocean counties.
"I have a couple of bills that are in the hopper," says Angelini. "I've written to Speaker Oliver two weeks ago, and said I would really like that to be the focus for the lame duck session."
These issues are top priorities for Monmouth County officials next year, but Superstorm Sandy recovery trumps them all. All the officials have recovery at the top of their "To-Do List" for 2014.