Home>Campaigns>Hugin smacks Dem senator from ‘retaliarory’ county chairman bill

Republican Bob Hugin campaigns for the United States Senate in 2018. (Photo: Bob Hugin).

Hugin smacks Dem senator from ‘retaliarory’ county chairman bill

GOP State Chairman calls Gopal proposal that forces Golden to choose between two jobs ‘a complete abuse of power’

By David Wildstein, May 16 2023 9:10 am

Legislation that would ban county clerks and sheriffs from chairing their county political party organizations is facing opposition from Republican State Chairman Bob Hugin, who says the bill is retaliatory because a Democratic lawmaker wants to get rid of a GOP county chairman.

If the Democratic-controlled legislature passes the bill and Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy signs it, it would mean State Sen. Vin Gopal’s (D-Long Branch) nemesis, Shaun Golden, would need to choose between his two current posts, Monmouth County Sheriff and Republican County Chairman.

“Now that he’s run out of excuses to voters about his abysmal record, he has turned to targeting a single political rival through state legislation,” Hugin said.  “It is a complete abuse of power of his office.”

Companion bills sponsored by Gopal in the Senate and Raj Mukherji (D-Jersey City) in the Assembly will be considered when the respective Judiciary committees of the two houses meet on Thursday.

Gopal, a two-term senator and former Monmouth County Democratic chairman, has emerged as the top Republican target in the upcoming mid-term legislative elections.

Republicans have hammered Gopal for his bid to force Golden from one of his two posts.  Last week, all GOP legislators representing Monmouth County and likely Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli, a Golden ally, smacked Gopal’s bill.  Bill Spadea, who is also expected to run for governor, supports the bill.

Gopal faces Republican Steve Dnistrian, a marketing executive who serves on the Monmouth County Tax Board.  Gopal won his Senate seat in 2017, defeating three-term incumbent Jennifer Beck (R-Red Bank) with 53%, and was re-elected in 2021 with 52% against Republican Lori Annetta.

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