Preparing for Election 2018

March 12, 2018
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By Jay Cook |

Monmouth County Dems Tap Their 2018 Candidates

Monmouth County Democrats are feeling a surge in 2018 and believe their candidates in this election season could pull a few upsets. Matt Anderson, executive director for the Monmouth County Democrats, confirmed to The Two River Times this week that they endorsed Josh Welle to run against longtime incumbent U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) in the 4th Congressional District, and Larry Luttrell and Amber Gesslein to run for the two Monmouth County Freeholder seats up for grabs later this year.

Welle, a former U.S. Navy officer who currently works as the CEO of a software company, won the party’s endorsement after edging out former Asbury Park councilman Jim Keady and Mike Keeling, an Asbury Park native and schoolteacher. Welle proved to be the more moderate of the three candidates and has garnered support from a Democratic base looking to oust Smith from his position.

Luttrell and Gesslein, the two Freeholder candidates, came out on top after a countywide mini-convention last weekend. Luttrell ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the Holmdel Township Committee last year and has run for Freeholder seats in 2013 and 2014. Gesslein, of Eatontown, ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the 10th Legislative District in the New Jersey State Assembly in 2013.

A pair of high-profile incumbents also received support to run on the party line in 2018. Long Branch native, U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) in the 6th Congressional District was again the choice by the county party. Pallone has been in the House of Representatives for 30 years. U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, who is seeking his third term as a United States senator, was also selected as the nominee for Monmouth County Democrats.

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Fair Haven Changes Polling Locations

In an effort to consolidate polling locations and afford greater accessibility for residents, Fair Haven voters will now cast their ballots in one location for the June and November elections. Fair Haven business administrator Theresa Casagrande said residents will now vote at Church of the Nativity, 180 Ridge Road.

“The Church of the Nativity has ADA compliant facilities that are separate from the main church, which can accommodate all of the Borough’s election districts in one location, with significantly more parking than we had at our former polling places,” Casagrande wrote in an email.

Fair Haven borough clerk Allyson Cinquegrana said since 2010, Districts 1, 2 and 4 have voted at 200 Fair Haven Road (the Knights of Columbus branch) and Districts 3, 5 and 6 have voted at 35 Fisk St. (Fair Haven Community Center), located behind the borough police department. She said the change comes with the pending construction of a new police department in mind.

For any questions about the changes, call Fair Haven borough clerk Allyson Cinquegrana at 732-747-0241 ext. 221.


Monmouth County Seeking Poll Workers

Looking to help out your neighbors on Election Day? Then the Monmouth County Board of Elections wants to hear from you.

The county announced last week they are seeking residents to spend a few hours on primary and general election days to man the polls and help others exercise their right to vote. Prospective poll workers must be registered voters in Monmouth County and must attend a poll worker training class.

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The day-long job pays $200 to work either the primary election on June 5, or the general election on Nov. 6. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, call the Monmouth County Board of Elections at 732-431-7802, ext. 7150, or visit


Dates to Remember

Although it seems like the last election cycle just ended, local and state politicos are preparing the 2018 cycle, which is quickly approaching. Here are a few dates to remember as the next round arrives.

  • April 2, 2018: Petition filing deadline for Democratic and Republican candidates in the June primary election.
  • May 15, 2018: Voter registration deadline for the June primary election.
  • Oct. 5, 2018: Primary election day.
  • June 5, 2018: Petition filing deadline for Independent candidates in the November general election.
  • June 16, 2018: Voter registration deadline for the November general election.
  • June 6, 2018: General election day.

To keep Two River area residents up to date on the political movements countywide and in their respective towns, The Two River Times will be compiling local coverage and notices of different happenings from now up until the November 2018 elections. Please send additional tips, notes or information to reporter Jay Cook at

This article was first published in the March 8-15, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.

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