Democrat, GOP Twp. Committee Members, Launch Campaigns
Candidates for both parties holding local campaign events to attract voters long before November elections.
Although neither Democratic or Republican candidates for Bernards Township Committee face competition in the June 5 primary, Democrat Michael Komondy and Republican incumbents John Malay and Carolyn Gaziano are already kicking off their campaigns to reach voters well before November's election contest.
On March 31, Gaziano, this year's deputy mayor, and Malay, who has served as mayor twice before on the all-Republican Township Committee, held the official launching of their 2012 Republican campaign, which also included officials seeking federal and county office. The event took place at the Gazebo near downtown Basking Ridge.
Other participants at the Republican campaign event included U.S. Congressman Leonard Lance, N.J. District 7, Somerset County Freeholders Mark Caliguire and Patrick Scaglione, and County Clerk Brett Radi, all of whom are seeking election. A crowd of family, friends and supporters estimated at 30 people attended the damp morning meeting, according to Township Committeeman John Carpenter, who released information on the campaign event.
Democrats hosting kickoff April 18
The Bernards Township Democratic Committee has scheduled that party's campaign kickoff for Township Committee candidate Michael Komondy at 7 p.m. next Wednesday, April 18, at the Ridge Tavern, 55 S. Finley Ave., in Basking Ridge.
There is no charge and all are welcome to attend, according to the Democratic Committee organizers. A cash bar will be available as well as complementary appetizers for all attendees. Donations can be made at the event.
This will be the first of a number of public events sponsored by the Bernards Township Democrats leading up until the election, according to Bernards Township Democratic Chair David Ferdinand.
“It’s time that we established ourselves as a viable and distinct voice for the people of Bernards Township,” Komondy said. “I am running as Democrat, representing a differing viewpoint that is vital to a balanced and fair democracy. I’ve spoken to many people in Bernards Township who feel like they don’t have a voice. We are simply looking for everyone to have a seat at the table.”
Komondy had joined the campaign for Township Committee after he received a sufficient number of write-in votes in last June's primary election to be placed on the ballot. He placed third among four candidates seeking election to the Township Committee last year, following Republican incumbents Mary Pavlini, this year's mayor, and John Carpenter.
The Democrat's event will offer residents the opportunity meet and speak with the candidate, continue the Democrats’ efforts to introduce themselves, and spread their message to the voters, according to the organizers.
"We live in one of the greatest communities in the nation, but we realize that the township committee needs to deliver balanced leadership with a focus on transparency and responsibility to the people of Bernards Township,” Komondy said.
Komondy and his wife Carol have been residents of Basking Ridge for twenty-one years. They have two children, Mary Rose and Donald, who are currently enrolled at Ridge High School.
Residents with any questions, or who want to be added to the Bernards Township Democrats e-mail List, should contact Bernards Township Democratic Chairman David Ferdinand at email@example.com.
Republicans seeking re-election
Gaziano and Malay both are seeking re-election.
Gaziano, this year's deputy mayor, is seeking election to a second term while Malay, mayor twice before, including in 2011, is campaigning for a third three-year term on the Township Committee.
In her remarks, Gaziano said that under the Republicans, Bernards is in a solid financial situation, with taxes holding at the 2005 level, a AAA bond rating and high marks from state-mandated auditors, according to a report from the Republicans.
Malay also spoke of what he said have been the accomplishments of Republicans while leading the Township Committee.
"The Republican Party has served Bernards well," he said in his speech. "Our record of success is one of the most noteworthy in New Jersey and we intend to keep it that way."
Malay said he and Gaziano, along with other Republican Township Committee members, have worked to control taxes by controlling spending. "We have maintained prudent cash reserves, reduced payroll and insurance cost and applied our long-term capital spending plan."
The township has retired all unfunded debt and preserved a municipal AAA bond rating "in the face of reduced revenues from property taxes and inequitable state aid," Malay added.
"Others talk about finding ways to save money and control taxes," Malay said.
The event also included a speech from Lance, who is campaigning for his third term in the House of Representatives. If re-elected this fall, Lance will be representing Bernards for the first time since the township was was transferred to the 7th Congressional district from New Jersey as a result of the 2011 Congressional redistricting. Lance, a Hunterdon County resident who already represents the remainder of the Somerset Hills, said he looked forward to representing Bernards.
Freeholders Caliguire and Scaglione said during their speeches that Somerset County, like Bernards, has a AAA bond rating and is aggressively working to reduce costs, become more energy efficient and control taxes. Somerset County now generates more solar power than any other county in the state, according to the candidates.