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Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (R-Holmdel). (Photo: Courtesy of the New Jersey State Assembly)

DiMaso bill would bar constitutional officers from party leadership posts

Assemblywoman dropped from Monmouth County line this year

By Nikita Biryukov, June 07 2021 1:54 pm

Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (R-Homldel) introduced a bill that would bar county constitutional officers from holding leadership posts in local, county and state parties.

“There are clear conflicts of interest that need to be acknowledged when elected officials also chair a political party,” DiMaso said. “Perhaps the most blatant example is when chairs and co-chairs also serve as elected constitutional officers for a county where they are in charge of the same employees who decide their personal salaries and department budgets.”

DiMaso is running for re-election off-the-line after losing the support of Monmouth County Republican Chairman Shaun Golden, who is also the county sheriff.

Golden and the assemblywoman butted heads before she was dropped from the county line. DiMaso has backed slates of local candidates in Holmdel against ones endorsed by Golden and the Monmouth County Republican Committee.

The bill appears to be a last-minute bid for votes in her primary against Assemblyman Gerard Scharfenberger (R-Middletown) and Holmdel School Board President Vicky Flynn, whom Golden tapped to replace DiMaso on the line.

The release, sent out by DiMaso’s legislative office, blurred lines between government and politics.

“I have put up with being mistreated by the political bosses personally over the years, they have even attacked my children, but now clearly there are decisions being made which negatively and financially impact the taxpayers because these conflicts of interest are allowed to continue,” she said.

It’s exceedingly unlikely Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Woodbridge) will move the bill.

Monmouth County Clerk Christine Hanlon, who vice chairs the county Republican committee, did not immediately respond to a 1:59 p.m. call seeking comment.

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