Pledging to eliminate annual property tax assessments, improve access to education and push for more infrastructure investments, U.S. Army veteran Vincent Solomeno has announced that he will seek the Democratic nomination for State Senate in the Monmouth County-based 13th district.
“It’s time we replace the politics of the past with an approach to public service that results in a better future for our communities,” Solomeno said. “My campaign comes with a plan to deliver good paying jobs, outstanding public schools, and holding the line on taxes to make New Jersey a more affordable state for everyone who lives in it.”
Solomeno wants to challenge incumbent Declan O’Scanlon (R-Little Silver), who was elected in 2017 after five terms in the State Assembly.
The Hazlet resident face a tough fight in a district that has not elected a Democrat since 1987.
“This is not about a political party,” Solomeno said. “This race is about who represents us in Trenton and whether our Senator works for his constituents.”
Solomeno accused O’Scanlon on working with special interest groups in writing the Monmouth County Real Property Assessment Demonstration Program.
“My neighbors and I have seen our property taxes skyrocket. The middle class is getting hosed,” Solomeno stated. “It’s a bad deal. He literally wrote the law and I want to end it.”
He charged that O’Scanlon “talks a good game (on fiscal issues) but in truth he’s responsible for higher taxes for thousands of homeowners and small businesses.”
Solomeno, 35, currently serves as a captain in the Army National Guard, where he is the garrison commander at the National Guard Training Center in Sea Girt. He is employed by the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.
In 2001, at age 15, he became the executive director of Union Beach Demcoratic Organization and ran a campaign that elected two Democrats to the Borough Council that year. As a college student in 2004, he spent a few months working as a full-time volunteer in New Hampshire on retired Army General Wesley Clark’s campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.
He has run for office a couple of times, but without success. Solomeno lost a 2016 bid for Monmouth County Surrogate and 2017 campaign for Hazlet Township Committee against incumbent Sue Kiley.
Solomeno graduated with honors from the University of Scranton and as a Fulbright Scholar, he earned his post graduate degree from the University of Amsterdam. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Army Engineer School at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.