Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Monmouth County Chairman, Vin Gopal To Step Down Tomorrow To Challenge Beck For LD 11 Seat

Monmouth County Chairman, Vin Gopal, announced in an email last night that he was stepping down as County Chair in order to challenge incumbent Monmouth County State Senator Jennifer Beck for her seat in LD 11. Word of Gopal's possible intention to challenge Beck was first reported by Observer.com yesterday. The Asbury Park Press is reporting this story today.

Gopal made it official last night with an email blast to county committee members last night:

Dear Monmouth County Democrats,

For the past 4 and ½ years, I have have had the honor of volunteering as your Monmouth County Democratic Party Chairman. I have enjoyed every day of my service to this Party. Together we have created an eminent force against the Republicans as we defeated them year after year in historically Republican municipalities and Legislative Districts.

As your Chairman, my proudest achievement has been growing this party while defeating Republicans across the County. In the past 4 and ½ years, together we have achieved the below successes…

- Built a strong county committee and aggressive local donor fundraising program with a full-time staff to serve the Monmouth County Democrats.

- The election of the first Democrats since 1989 to be elected in the 11th Legislative District - Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling and Assemblywoman Joann Downey, to breakup the all Republican Legislative body.

- Replaced Republican incumbents and Elected Democratic Mayors in Atlantic Highlands, Matawan, Ocean Township, Oceanport, Shrewsbury, and Spring Lake Heights. We also won the Mayor’s Seat for the first time in 16 years in Monmouth’s 2nd Largest Town, Howell. 3 Years ago, we had 14 Democratic Mayors in this county. Today, we have 23 Democratic Mayors.

- For the first time in over twenty years, we elected Democrats on the Governing bodies of Neptune City and Fair Haven, two towns that have not seen Democrats elected in over twenty years and both towns now run competitive elections.

- Ended the Republican Majority in Allentown for the first time in twenty years.

- Built upon the successes of former Chairman Victor Scudiery and maintained full Democratic Majorities in Aberdeen, Belmar, Freehold Borough, Keyport, Lake Como, Manasquan, Marlboro and Roosevelt.

- Swept all 4 Council Seats in Bradley Beach - Today the entire Bradley Beach Council is Democratic.

- Ended the Republican Majority in Sea Bright

- Added a Democrat seat on the Spring Lake Council

- Welcomed a new Democratic Mayor in Asbury Park and a Democratic Mayor in Loch Arbour.

- Broke the all GOP Township Committee for the first time since 2008 in Manalapan with the election of a Democrat.

- 6 to 0 Majority on Keyport Council now defeating every GOP Councilmember - 2016 election saw the election of two women who beat two incumbent men.

- Elected the first African-American woman Mayor of Atlantic Highlands

- Ended the Republican Majority in Eatontown

- Elected Democrats in Farmingdale for the first time in years, making the town politically competitive.

- Elected and re-elected two Democrats on the Hazlet Township Committee - making the Bayshore town a battleground.

- Built strong local Democratic Parties in traditional Republican strongholds such as Freehold Township, Holmdel, Howell, Millstone, Shrewsbury Borough, Middletown, West Long Branch and Wall Township.

- Made county races competitive, continuing to get 45% to 46% of the vote county-wide, drastically outperforming the top of the ticket in every cycle.

- We made Union Beach a politically competitive town, winning council seats for the first time in over a decade in 2013 and running competitive races in every cycle.

- In 2015, we had a total of 41 Municipal winners, including 5 NEW Democratic Mayors in Ocean Township, Matawan, Oceanport, Atlantic Highlands, and Spring Lake Heights.

- Continued to challenge Governor Chris Christie’s disastrous policies.

Together, we have built a strong Democratic Party which will continue to hold our ideals.

I have decided to enter the race for State Senate in New Jersey’s 11th Legislative District. I do not believe that candidates or elected officials should serve as the county party chair - I believe in transparency and integrity in government and I do not believe that party leaders should be candidates for public office. In my 4 and ½ years volunteering as County Chairman, I have given thousands of hours towards the Democratic Party. I have loved every minute of it. I will continue as a former Chairman to do what I can to support our party, but I will be focused during the next ten months in joining Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling and Assemblywoman Joann Downey on the 11th District ticket to beat incumbent Senator Jen Beck.

I want to thank our vice Chair Mary Foster, our State Committee Members, our Mayors and elected officials, all our candidates who put their names on the ballot these past several cycles, our countless volunteers and donors, our outstanding Women’s Caucus Members, our State Chairman John Currie, our Congressman Frank Pallone and each and every one of you.

My resignation will take effect Wednesday, January 4th at 12pm. I am confident that Acting Chairwoman Mary Foster will do a great job in running the party until a new Chairperson is elected.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for all you do to support and promote good government.

Vin Gopal

I wish Vin well on this endeavor. Defeating Jennifer Beck won't be easy but if it's to happen, 2017 is the year. In a gubernatorial election year with anti-Republican/Chris Christie sentiment running high, Democrats have a real chance to take the 11th LD after last year's success of Houghtaling and Downey's assembly victories.

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