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Matawan Mayor Joe Altomonte. (Photo: Joe Altomonte.)

Matawan mayor will challenge Thompson for Senate

Joe Altamonte will run in heavily-Republican 12th

By David Wildstein, March 21 2021 12:13 pm

Matawan Mayor Joe Altomonte will challenge three-term State Sen. Samuel Thompson (R-Old Bridge) in the heavily-Republican 12th district.

Altamonte was the unanimous choice of Monmouth County Democrats to run on their organization line in the June primary on a ticket headed by Gov. Phil Murphy.  Democrats also picked legislative candidates in the 11th, 13th, and 30th districts.

Democrats Raya Aribiol and Michael Palazzolla are running for Assembly against incumbents Ronald Dancer (R-Plumsted) and Rob Clifton (D-Matawan).

The elongated 12th district extends from Old Bridge in Middlesex County through parts of western Monmouth into Ocean and Burlington counties.

The 85-year-old Thompson served as Middlesex County GOP Chairman before winning a State Assembly seat in 1997.  He moved up to the Senate in 2011 after redistricting puts two Republican senators – Robert Singer (R-Lakewood) and Sean Kean (R-Wall) – in the same district and then created an open seat in the upper chamber for Thompson.

In 2017, Thompson was re-elected by 8,125 votes, 57%-41%, against Democrat David Lande.

Altomonte ousted Republican mayor Paul Buccellato in 2015 with 52% of the vote and was re-elected four years later with 56%.   Altamonte’s election to a council seat eight years ago began a Democratic trend that has left his party with a 7-9 majority on the council.

In the hugely Republican 30th district, Democrats picked Dan Stinger, a Howell realtor, to challenge State Sen. Robert Singer (R-Lakewood), a 9-term incumbent.   Stephen Dobbin, a small businessman from Howell, and Matt Filosa, a junior at Monmouth University, will run for the Assembly against incumbents Sean Kean (R-Wall) and Edward Thomson (R-Wall).

Vincent Solomeno will run for Senate in the 13th with Assembly candidates Allison Friedman and Erin Howard.

Three Demcoratic incumbents are seeking re-election in the 11th: State Sen. Vin Gopal (D-Long Branch), Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling (D-Neptune) and Assemblywoman Joann Downey (D-Freehold).

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