It was reported on the Middletown Patch (and other places) this past Monday, that Middletown's appointed mayor Gerry Scharfenberger,plans to seek a seat in the NJ State Assembly for District 13 and made his intentions known on his Facebook page. It was also reported that current Monmouth County Freeholder Serena Dimaso and Fair Haven Councilman Bob Marchese will also be seeking that seat. The three will face off against each other during the June Primary to see who will run against the eventual Democratic nominee.
The Assembly seat that the three are vying for will either be Assemblywoman Amy Handlin's seat or Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon's. Both are seeking the party nomination to succeed retiring Monmouth County Senator Joe Kyrillos, in the NJ State Senate.
I knew that when Joe Kyrillos announced that he wasn't seeking reelection that someone on the Middletown Township Committee would be looking towards Trenton.
At the time, I personally thought that it would have been Tony Fiore, seeing how he's a co-chair for the Monmouth County Republicans and may have been looking for a venue change. However, I changed that opinion recently when Scharfenberger's buddies on the Township Committee reappointed him mayor during Reorganization day on January 1st.
It's always been the M.O. of the Middletown Republicans to appoint those that are seeking reelection as Mayor or Deputy-Mayor, which would have made either Stephanie Murray or Tony Fiore, the ones to fill those positions. It was in fact Murray this time who was appointed Deputy-Mayor and Scharfenberger who was appointed mayor. I suppose it's more impressive if you give the impression that you are the
That being said, here is my primary day prediction; Gerry Scharfenberger will bee seeking Amy Handlin's seat in the Assembly. I think both Handlin and Scharfenberger will win their primary campaigns easily. The reason is simple; nearly a third of all registered GOP voters in the 13th District are from Middletown! That's one hell of an advantage for anyone seeking election in the 13th to overcome.