State Sen. Vin Gopal (D-Long Branch) brought in over $150,000 last night at a virtual fundraiser that featured a former local Republican official who worked against him four years ago.
Former Tinton Falls Councilwoman Nancyanne Fama, who campaigned for three-term State Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-Long Branch) in 2017, attended the Demcoratic fundraiser to speak about breaking party lines to support Gopal for re-election to a second term.
The event attracted over 300 people and had over 500 individual donors, the New Jersey Globe has learned.
Gopal 35, has had a meteoric rise in Trenton since unseated Beck four years ago by 4,158 votes, 54%-46%. As a freshman senator, Gopal has become the Senate Majority Conference Chairman and is chairman of the Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
Senate President Steve Sweeney and Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg were in attendance, as well as Long Branch Democratic Municipal Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr., who also chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Four county chairs – David Brown (Monmouth), Kevin McCabe (Middlesex), Michael Suleiman (Atlantic) and Brendan Sciarra (Cape May) – also joined Gopal along with State Sen. Joseph Cryan (D-Union), County Commissioners Brendan Gill (Essex), Ken Atwood (Middlesex), and John Bartlett (Passaic), former Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy, and Gopal’s running mates: Assemblywoman Joanne Downey (D-Freehold) and Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling (D-Neptune).
Also in attendance: New Jersey Democratic State Committee official Eric Brophy, LUPE PAC President Laura Matos, Monmouth Dems Women’s Caucus Chair Veverly Wyche and Wall Township Democratic Chair Allison Connolly, Bergen County Democratic Vice Chair Balpreet Grewal, and firefighter union president Eddie Donnelly.
Additional Gopal supporters attending the fundraiser included: Ocean Township Mayor Chris Sicliano, Bloomfield Mayor Mike Venezia, Aberdeen Mayor Fred Tagliarni, Freehold Borough Mayor Kevin Kane, Oceanport Mayor Jay Coffey, Bloomfield Mayor Mike Venezia, Spring Lake Mayor Jen Naughton, Howell Mayor Dr. Theresa Berger, Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik, Lumberton Mayor Gina LaPlaca, Lake Como Mayor Kevin Higgins, Monmouth Beach Mayor David Stickle, Long Branch Mayor John Pallone, Bradley Beach Mayor Larry Fox, Keyport Mayor Collette Kennedy, Brick Mayor John Ducey, Red Bank Mayor Pat Menna, and West Orange Mayor Robert Parisi.