Wednesday, November 4, 2009

V-Day in Monmouth County and the State of NJ

"Middletown Democrats got Byrned and came up Short" - Art Gallagher

Last night I attended my first victory party, with the Middletown Republicans at the Lincroft Inn. By the time I got there, our local races were pretty much settled.

Steve Massell won by a huge margin, of 24%. I think everybody was expecting him to beat incumbent Patrick Short, but few expected the victory to be so big. I think this will bring a bit more sanity to the township committee meetings, now that Republicans return to a 4-1 lead. Everybody was happy last night, Steve brought his entire family and was surrounded by his new colleagues, Mayor Brightbill, Deputy Mayor Scharfenberger and Committeeman Fiore.

Steve Massell delivering his victory speech

When I got there, Assemblywoman Amy Handlin was still watching the results, but she told me everything looks good. She and Sam Thompson won easily, by a 2-1 margin, against Bob Brown and Jim Whatshisname, despite some bogus Dem polls showing that the race is close. All in all, the Republicans swept all four Assembly races in Monmouth County, by an average of 2-1, so a big congrats to all of them: Handlin, Thompson, O'Scanlon, Casagrande, Rible, Angelini, Malone and Dancer.

Me and re-elected Assemblywoman Amy Handlin, on Sunday

We were also relaxed about John Curley's race for freeholder. Last year, he lost by a handful of votes, in what was a bad year for Republicans. But he didn't give up, John came back and campaigned as hard as he could. I've never seen a better, stronger campaigner than John Curley. He faced unfavorable odds: Democrats had won the previous three freeholder races in Monmouth County, breaking the 5-0 majority that Republicans had enjoyed for over 20 years. Our slogan this year was "Take back Monmouth County", as barely 9 month into power the Dems started running it into the ground. Last week, John told me he was polling 17% ahead of Middletown committeeman Sean Byrnes, but he didn't trust that and he'd cut it in half. Well, on election night he won by almost 21%! I don't think anybody expected such a big margin, even his most optimistic supporters. This means he'll join Lillian Burry and Rob Clifton and starting January 1st they'll do what they do best - keep Monmouth County a great place to live.

With new freeholder John Curley and re-elected Assemblyman Dave Rible, last Thursday at Bar A

So by around 9pm, we had three races nailed, and one remaining - the big one. Chris Christie against unpopular incumbent Jon Corzine. Everything was against Christie, especially NJ being a very blue state, where no Republican has won a statewide election since 1997 and Obama won last year by 15% (but also, no Democratic Governor has been re-elected here since 1978 - says a lot about what a great job they've been doing). When I first met Chris in February, he was a long shot, and all we could do as hope. Then over the summer he went to a comfortable lead in the polls, but in the last weeks before the election Corzine's negative adds paid off and they became statistically tied. But it was still better than recent years, when no Republican candidate went into election day with real hope of winning.

Back to Lincroft Inn. Around 10pm, the networks started calling the race for Chris Christie, as he was leading by 4-5% with two thirds of the vote counted. There was an explosion of hapiness in the room, but somehow it quickly calmed down, as it was still quite close and everybody was afraid the number could reverse in the end. It was extremely tense, as everybody left their tables and we were all stuck around the TV, cheering every time the percentage of the vote counted went up, and the difference stayed the same. Then Patrick Short made his way to the crowd, and went to Steve Massell to congratulate him for his own. I was a bit surprised and I think it was a nice gesture. He thanked him for a clean campaign, and forgot about all the mud he'd thrown at Steve's family. I wonder if he said again, like on his inauguration day, that "The People have spoken". Must've been a really short party for the Democrats, as they lost all their races.

Pat Short conceding the race

Minute after minute, it became more and more clear that we can't lose this victory, and the Christie-Guadagno won, by 49% - 44%. And 3rd party candidate Daggett got only 5%, despite polling around 10% or higher. It's a very big margin, it was never close as even Republicans had forecasted. And I think that what turned the tides was the strong endorsements, just over the past weekend, from the most conservative Republicans. People that had attacked Christie for month, and vowed to write in another name or vote for a 3rd party candidate, decided with a few days before the election that getting rid of Corzine is more important and, led by Steve Lonegan, urged all their followers to go out and vote for Christie. Without these endorsements, I'm afraid it would've been very close or Corzine might've stolen the win.

So it was a great night for the Monmouth Republicans. All state contests were won by around 2-1, including the Governor's race. In February, Chairman Joe Oxley promised Christie a 27,000 votes win. He delivered 64,000. Congrats to Joe who, in his first full year as Chairman, stopped the Democrat surge and won big in all the county-wide races. And it trickled down to many township races. Incumbents were thrown out, like in Middletown, the county's biggest township. In Howell, Republicans won their first seat since 2004. In Freehold Boro, the first since 2001. Even losing in Red Bank, a Dem stronghold, they lost by only 8 votes.

This is only the beginning. The great wins in NJ and VA should send a strong message to Obama and his cronies. And next year is even bigger than this one, as we have to take back the House, and stop Pelosi from trying to destroy America. We have Mike Halfacre here, taking on Rush Holt, and we need a strong candidate to take on Frank Pallone. If formerly blue New Jersey could do it, I'm sure America can do it.

No comments:

Post a Comment