Belmar Mayor kicks off Monmouth County Freeholder campaign Thursday
The Beach Haus Brewery on Main Street in Belmar is where Borough Mayor Matt Doherty officially launches his campaign for Monmouth County Freeholder, alongside running mate former Farmingdale councilwoman Carly Immen, at 6 p.m. this Thursday.
Doherty chose the new business for the campaign kickoff because he said it's an example of the type of small manufacturing business that is needed more in Monmouth.
"It's a total private investment where people came in and took a risk and wanted to do it in our town. They've been very successful. It give us an opportunity to highlight their business and also to highlight the need for a government that is concerned about small business operators and owners and how they're faring in Monmouth County and the need to grow those businesses as well," said Doherty.
Doherty said his decision to seek county office was prompted by last year's tax hike. It was the first time in five years the Freeholder Board raised taxes.
"We've had no property tax increase in Belmar since I've been the Mayor and I saw last year how the Monmouth County Freeholders increased taxes millions of dollars," Doherty said. He added he would put an end to those extreme tax increases.
Doherty pointed out that Immen is just as concerned as he is about keeping Monmouth County an affordable place to raise a family. He described his running mate as a talented professional woman with a beautiful family, noting Immen has a husband and three children. Doherty also is married with three children.
The Democratic duo is facing an uphill battle in the Freeholder race, Doherty admitted. They'll likely face GOP incumbents Serena DiMaso and Tom Arnone, who have expressed seeking re-election.
"The entire Freeholder Board is completely Republican, every elected official in Monmouth County is Republican, and that's another concerning aspect that the needs of the Republican Party seems to be put ahead of the needs of the people of Monmouth County," said Doherty.
Doherty pointed out, although a Democrat, he is able to work across the aisle with Republicans, and cited efforts before, during and after Superstorm Sandy with the Christie Administration as an example, noting in October the last two Belmar families displaced by the hurricane returned home.
"Meanwhile, there are still hundreds of families displaced from Sandy throughout Monmouth County, and it doesn't seem like the County is doing anything about it, so that's another concern that I'd like to address, if I have the opportunity to serve on the Freeholder Board," Doherty said.
He added he believes government works best when all political labels are put aside and the needs of the people are put first.
'We know it can be done, it's just not being done currently with the existing Freeholders in Monmouth County," said Doherty.