GOP Endorses Carol Bianchi for Township Committee
Bernards Republican Committee makes choice between two candidates, both current members of the Bernards Township Planning Board.
John Bayeux, chairman of the Bernards Township Municipal Committee, said the 42 members of the local Republican committee who voted Monday night were presented with "two terrific candidates" seeking the party's endorsement for Township Committee this fall. But after hearing what both had to say, the Republicans' backing went to Carol Bianchi, this year's Planning Board chairman.
Both Bianchi and Kevin Orr, the other declared candidate seeking the Republican endorsement in this June's primary election for one seat available on the Township Committee this November, are practicing attorneys who have served on the Planning Board and the Bernards Township Zoning Board of Adjustment.
"I am ready to do this job," Bianchi said during the Republican committee's public questioning of the candidates prior to a closed-session vote.
Describing herself as a taking a "collaborative" approach to working with others, Bianchi, a resident since 2001 with four children in township schools, said she already has made contributions to the quality of life in the township by helping to improve local school curriculums; serving as president of the William Annin Middle School Athletic Association, and keep fees stable for the organization; being an active member of Citizens for a Safe and Clean Millington Quarry, which she said managed to halt soil from being brought into the continuing quarry operation and creating a guidebook to county rivers.
Bianchi's involvement with the citizens' group required her to step down from the Planning Board's consideration of the quarry's plan for rehabilitation after it closes, although she did testify during the hearing on several aspects of plans to bring more fill into the facility.
Bianchi said those endeavors were "All to improve our quality of life, and at no cost to taxpayers."
Orr, currently chairman of the zoning board, said prior to the announcement of the vote that he would not seek to campaign if he was not chosen. He said he had supported the local Republican party since 2007. However, he added he would not rule out seeking to run for Township Committee at a future date.
Orr pointed to his experience when discussing his qualifications. As a member of the Planning Board, Orr recently proposed the structure of an interim plan recommendation for the Millington Quarry's rehabilitation plan for the facility off Stone House Road.
Like Biachi, Orr said he supported the current all-Republican Township Committee's strategy of "pay as you go" for paying for municipal projects, including a proposal to install artificial turf fields at Mountain Park.
Bianchi also had said beforehand she would not run against Orr if he had been selected for this year's officially endorsed candidate by the Bernards Republican Municipal Committee.
Orr and Bianchi announced earlier this year they were running for the one available position up for election this year on the Township Committee and would seek to represent local Republicans on the governing body at the municipal level.
Following the vote, Bayeux said party members' job now iis to elect the candidate that had been selected. He did not specify the result of the Republican municipal committee, conducted behind closed doors after presentations and questions answered by the candidates.
Democrat David Ferdinand already has been selected as the Bernards Township Democratic Committee's choice of candidate for Township Committee this fall.
Bayeux said the local GOP party will support all Republican candidates, at the local and county level and in the race for governor.
Bayeux previously said that the Republican committee usually endorses the incumbent Republican candidate. However, earlier this year, GOP Township Committeeman and former Mayor Scott Spitzer announced he would not seek re-election for a third term on the all-Republican Township Committeeman.