The growing consensus in Monmouth County is that 87-year-old Lillian Burry will not have the backing of the Monmouth County Republican organization even if she wants to run for a seventh term as county commissioner this year, and party leaders are actively discussing different candidates for her seat.
But Burry has not decided if she will seek re-election to an eighth term this year and didn’t preclude running without the line.
“No, I have not made a decision. I’m still a viable and hardworking commissioner, and I don’t know why they are looking for someone else,” Burry told the New Jersey Globe. “I have accomplished a lot and don’t want to go out with my tail between my legs.”
She said she was a strong vote-getter that outpolled her running made, Ross Licitra, by 1,800 votes when they ran three years ago.
The apparent top choice of Monmouth Republicans leaders to run for Burry’s seat was Susan Doctorian Kyrillos, a popular community leader from Middletown who served as a top official at Monmouth University. She was interested in running but informed party leaders this morning of her decision not to enter the race.
Kyrillos moved to New Jersey in 1992 to work on President George H.W. Bush’s presidential campaign and has served on multiple charitable and corporate boards. Her late father, Rev. David Doctorian, served in the Missouri State Senate for fourteen years, and her husband, Joe, spent 26 years as a New Jersey state senator and four as an assemblyman.
Possible candidates for Burry’s seat include Middletown Mayor Tony Perry, Shrewsbury Mayor Erik Anderson, Freehold Township Mayor Maureen Fasano, Freeholder Township Councilman Anthony Ammiano, and Matt Woolley, a former chief of staff to Assemblyman Sean Kean (R-Wall) who ran for Assembly in 2019.
Perry, who was Kyrillos’ chief of staff when he was in the Senate, is the mayor of the largest municipality in Monmouth and the 20th largest in the state.
“I haven’t made any decision yet about whether I’m going to run for county commissioner,” Perry said.
Woolley declined to comment on the race.