Monmouth County Democrats are gearing up for a hotly contested convention on Saturday, with races for freeholder and State Assembly in three legislative districts.
Four candidates are seeking party support for two seats on the freeholder board: Liz Lawrence, an aide to Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-Passaic); Asbury Park businessman Jordan Modell; Moira Nelson, an Action Together Monmouth County activist; and Michael Penna, a Long Branch resident who teaches in Marlboro.
The winners will take on Republican incumbent Tom Arnone and his running mate, Wall township committeeman Nick DiRocco. The other incumbent, Gerald Scharfenberger, is seeking the 13th district Assembly seat.
Democrats are expected to pick retired Little Silver police lieutenant Kevin Tuohy to challenge Sheriff Shaun Golden. Golden is also the Monmouth County GOP chairman and a potential candidate for the 2021 Republican gubernatorial nomination.
Four candidates are seeking the Democratic organization line to run against Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (R-Holmdel) and Scharfenberger: Matawan-Aberdeen Board of Education president Allison Friedman; Barbara Singer, a Holmdel attorney who list township committee races in 2016, 2017 and 2018; Hazlet businesswoman Lucille LoSapio; and Jenna “Yeana” Sager, a court-appointed special advocate from Middletown.
Assemblywoman Amy Handlin (R-Middletown) is not seeking re-election after fourteen years in the legislature.
In the 12th district, three Democrats want the chance to challenge Republican assemblymen Rob Clifton (R-Matawan) and Ronald Dancer (R-Plumsted): attorney David Lande, a former U.S. Army JAG officer and 2017 State Senate candidate; Malini Guha, a freelance journalist and member of the Matawan Environmental Commission; and former Linden councilman Gene Davis.
Lande and Guha defeated Davis at the Middlesex County Democratic convention this week. Davis ran against Clifton and Dancer two years ago and lost by 8,169 votes.
Incumbents Eric Houghtaling (D-Neptune) and Joann Downey (D-Freehold) face a challenge from Rakesh Bisaria.