Home>Highlight>Challenger drops out, leaving Houghtaling, Downey unopposed at Monmouth Dem convention

Assemblywoman Joann Downey (D-Freehold)

Challenger drops out, leaving Houghtaling, Downey unopposed at Monmouth Dem convention

Two-term 11th district legislators will face Republicans Amoroso, Woolley in fall

By David Wildstein, March 16 2019 11:36 am

Rakesh Bisaria has dropped challenge to incumbents Eric Houghtaling (D-Neptune) and Joann Downey (D-Freehold) for the Monmouth County Democratic organization line, leaving the two-term legislators unopposed at the party convention this morning.

Houghtaling and Downey will face Republicans Michael Amoroso and Matthew Woolley in the general election.

Amoroso, 50, is serving his third term on the school board and was the top vote-getter when he ran for re-election in 2017.

Woolley, 29, served as chief of staff to Assemblyman Sean Kean (R-Wall) and worked at Comcast before joining Bob Hugin’s U.S. Senate campaign as deputy director of strategic initiatives.

The district has tilted heavily to Democrat in recent years.  The 11th has 14,411 more Democrats than Republicans.  When it was drawn in 2011, the Democratic edge was 10,120.

Downey and Houghtaling unseated Republican assemblywomen Mary Pat Angelini and Caroline Casagrande in 2015 and State Sen. Vin Gopal (D-Long Branch) unseated three-term incumbent Jennifer Beck in 2017.

Republicans ran Ocean Township Deputy Mayor Rob Acerra and Red Bank Councilman Michel Whelan against Downey and Houghtaling in 2017.  Acerra lost by 5,340 votes and Whelan by 6,027.

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