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Gerry Scharfenberger

Scharfenberger has no opponent at Monmouth GOP convention

Former Christie deputy chief of staff unopposed for open freeholder seat

By David Wildstein, March 04 2019 9:04 pm

Monmouth County freeholder Gerald Scharfenberger will run unopposed for State Assembly at the GOP county nominating convention on Saturday.

Scharfenberger is seeking the 13th district seat of retiring seven-term assemblywoman Amy Handlin (R-Monmouth).

Wall Township Committeeman Nick DiRocco has no opposition for the Monmouth organization line to replace Scharfenberger on the Board of Freeholders.

He will run with incumbent Tom Arnone.

Scharfenberger was a longtime Middletown mayor and township committeeman before winning a special election convention last year for Monmouth County freeholder.  He won a one-year unexpired term on the freeholder board in November.

DiRocco served as Christie’s deputy chief of staff from 2015 to 2016 before leaving to become director of government affairs at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield.

He has been around the state political scene for nearly eighteen years.  DiRocco served as a deputy state attorney general before taking on government affairs posts for the New Jersey Association of Counties and the New Jersey Business & Industry Association.

DiRocco joined the Christie administration in 2010 as a senior counsel to the governor, leaving for six months in 2013 to serve as counsel to interim U.S. Senator Jeff Chiesa.

Since 2016, DiRocco joined Horizon and was on the opposite side of Christie during the government shutdown in 2017.  He is not mentioned in Christie’s new book.

DiRocco won an open seat on the Wall Township Committee in 2016, defeating his Democratic opponents by a 2-1 margin.  He is up for re-election this year.

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