Monmouth County Freeholder Gerry Scharfenberger has not ruled out running for State Assembly in 2019, the Asbury Park Press sort of reported last night.
In an editorial endorsing Scharfenberger’s opponent in the November 6 race for freeholder, the editorial board said they asked him the open 13th district Assembly seat.
“He refused to say whether he would forego an opportunity to seek the Assembly seat of Amy Handlin, who will not be seeking re-election when her term expires next year,” the editorial board wrote. “Voters deserve more than a short-term rental on the freeholder board.”
Republicans are holding off on picking a replacement for Handlin until after the 2018 election.
Scharfenberger had been an Assembly candidate last year, when it looked like Handlin might challenge Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon for a State Senate seat that opened when Joe Kyrillos retired. When Handlin decided to remain in the Assembly, Scharfenberger dropped out.
O’Scanlon’s Assembly seat was won by Republican Serena DiMaso. Scharfenberger was appointed to take DiMaso’s seat on the Board of Freeholders.
There is no shortage of possible candidates to replace Handlin, including Scharfenberger’s son-in-law, Middletown Township Committeeman Tony Perry, a former chief of staff to Kyrillos.
This is the second time the Asbury Park Press has missed a story that was buried within a story.
A story in The (Bergen) Record early last month on a different issue revealed Handlin’s intention not to seek re-election next year. While that appeared in one Gannett newspaper, the Asbury Park Press – also owned by Gannett – missed the story and published it nearly twelve hours later, after the New Jersey Globe had already picked up on the story.