Former Point Pleasant Beach mayor Vincent Barrella has announced that he will seek the Democratic nomination for State Assembly in the 10th district, where Republican David Wolfe (R-Brick) is retiring after 28 years in office.
Barrella spent eight years as mayor and was in office during Superstorm Sandy. He did not seek re-election in 2015 and was replaced by Republican Stephen Reid, who is also seeking Wolfe’s open Assembly seat.
If Reid is the GOP nominee and Democrats pick Barrella, the 2019 Assembly race could be the third leg of a bitter rivalry with Reid.
He was elected mayor as a Republican in 2008 with 52%. He was the target of a recall in 2010, but voters rejected the move by 172 votes. He had run as an independent in the recall election and outpolled Reid by 101 votes. Barrella ran for re-election as an independent in 2011 and defeated Reid.
Sandy damaged or destroyed nearly half of the housing in Point Pleasant Beach, its boardwalk and boardwalk business area. Point Pleasant Beach was open for business the next summer
“Our current District 10 legislators have been totally ineffective in addressing the problems facing the State and its taxpayers. What they have been very good at is lining their own pockets with taxpayer dollars from patronage jobs. This has left the average Republican, Democrat, and Independent wondering – ‘What have they done for me?’ The answer is — ‘Nothing!” Barrella sad. “I am running to change that. If I am fortunate enough to secure the nomination and prevail in November, I pledge to work for the residents and taxpayers of the 10th district, and not for me or the political establishment our current legislators serve.”
A retired attorney and a professor of Legal Studies & Taxation at Pace University’s Lubin School of Business in New York, Barrella was active in the Ocean County Mayors’ Association, the New Jersey Conference of Mayors, and the New Jersey League of Municipalities.
“New Jersey’s fiscal situation is akin to a large string of tangled Christmas lights. Fixing any one problem – education, pension, healthcare or property taxes — would be relatively easy, but with everything intertwined it is a formidable and daunting task,” said Barrella. “I believe that my educational and professional background, my work with Point Pleasant Beach’s municipal budget and my experience working on the Pace University budget make me uniquely qualified to tackle these problems.”
The 10th district has 15,270 more Republicans than Democrats and Democrats have not won there since John Paul Doyle (D-Brick) and Marlene Lynch Ford (D-Point Pleasant) were elected in 1989.