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Ocean Gate Mayor Paul Kennedy. (Photo: Facebook).

Ocean Gate mayor won’t seek re-election

Padham-Iaria, Curtin seeking GOP nomination for Paul Kennedy’s seat

By David Wildstein, April 05 2022 5:00 pm

The mayor of a small Ocean County shore town accused to stealing will not seek re-election.

Ocean Gate Mayor Paul Kennedy did not file nominating petitions before Monday’s 4 PM deadline, leaving a two-way race for the Republican nomination between Councilwoman Laura Padham-Iaria and Robert Curtin, the vice commodore of the Ocean Gate Yacht Club.

The winner will face Democrat Dennis Stagliano in the general election.  The filing deadline for independent candidates is June 7, leaving a narrow path for Kennedy to change his mind.

Padham-Iaria had been politically allied with Kennedy and entered the race after Councilman Robert Livingston decided not to run.  She will have the organization line.

Livingston and Councilwoman Joella Nicastro are unopposed for re-election to the borough council.  No Democrats filed.

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer has charged Kennedy with selling taxpayer-owned vehicles – and a conference table – and keeping the money.  The criminal charges against Kennedy also include allegations that he took cash out of parking meters.

Kennedy’s wife, Lynda, has resigned as GOP municipal chair.  Councilwoman Joella Nicastro and Rosemary Mastronardy will run unopposed for two county committee seats.

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