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Fiore endorses O’Scanlon for Senate in LD 13

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 6:23
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Tony Fiore and Declan O’Scanlon

Tony Fiore, a Monmouth GOP Vice Chairman and a Middletown Township Committeeman announced his endorsement of Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon to replace Senator Joe Kyrillos in the State Senate next year.

“As a Republican elected official in the largest municipality in the 13th legislative district, the upcoming retirement of Middletown’s Senator Joe Kyrillos is vitally important to us,” Fiore said.  “For the past 28 years we have been extremely fortunate to have Senator Kyrillos representing our district as an advocate for residents and taxpayers of our district and the entire state.  His leadership and advocacy on behalf of our township and our district will be sorely missed.   The next Senator from the 13th must continue to fight for us in Trenton while working with our local leaders to help keep our local municipalities and county under fiscally conservative Republican control.

“We are blessed to have strong Republican leadership in our district that has allowed us the ability to have strong candidates willing to step up to carry on the strong legacy that we are accustom to.  After careful thought and consideration, I am proud to endorse Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon for State Senator.  Over the past 6 years, I have had the opportunity to work closely with Declan on policies and initiatives that we believe are critical for the health and prosperity of the district and the state. Declan’s commitment and leadership on the budgetary issues such as pension and benefit reforms are what is sorely needed and often times lacking in Trenton.The reforms that Declan has authored and fought for has saved New Jersey taxpayers billions of dollars.  While we may not agree on every issue, I can always depend on Declan’s thoughtful perspective and research which gives me great comfort that he has the state’s best interests at heart. I hope that you will join me in supporting Declan O’Scanlon as our next State Senator in the 13th Legislative District.”

“My mother taught me the value of respect – both given and earned.  It is with an understanding of that value that I’m deeply grateful to have earned the respect and endorsement of Middletown Committeeman Tony Fiore, one of the most respected leaders in the Monmouth County Republican Party,” O’Scanlon said upon learning of Fiore’s endorsement.

“Through our years working together we have developed a truly dynamic relationship. We debate and challenge each other, but always with open minds and shared goals. I believe we have made each other better leaders. I can’t think of higher praise in this business of politics.

“As Tony said, Joe Kyrillos is already recognized as a great leader of this district and our state. I realize it will be extraordinarily difficult to fill his shoes. But I look forward to making Tony, and all the residents of the district, proud as they watch me try! Thanks Tony!”

O’Scanlon is battling his district mate, Assemblywoman Amy Handlin, for the Republican nomination to replace Kyrillos in the legislature’s upper chamber.

Fiore’s endorsement of O’Scanlon, of Little Silver, is significant in that it divides Handlin’s hometown support in Middletown.  As the largest town in the northern Monmouth legislative district, Middletown has over 40% of the County Committee votes.  O’Scanlon has strong support in the Two Rivers area (Fair Haven, Little Silver, Oceanport and Rumson) and the Bayshore towns of Atlantic Highlands, Holmdel, Keansburg, Keyport, Union Beach.  The County Committees of Hazlet, Highlands, Marlboro, Monmouth Beach and Sea Bright are believed to be divided between Handlin and O’Scanlon at this point.

Fiore, an opponent of the gas tax increase, joins Senator Jennifer Beck, the state’s most vocal opponent of the gas tax increase, in endorsing O’Scanlon. Handlin has been attempting to make the race a referendum on the gas tax increase that was part of the Transportation Trust Fund legislation last fall.  If Handlin fails to make the gas tax a litmus test in the district, she has a difficult path to victory at the yet to be scheduled GOP nominating convention.

O’Scanlon has touted the tax decreases, which he authored, in the Transportation Trust Fund legislation as critical to New Jersey’s long term growth and recovery.  The legislation phases out New Jersey’s estate tax and state income taxes for seniors and veterans making less than $100K per year. Additionally, O’Scanlon has ripped Handlin for failing to provide a viable alternative to infrastructure funding while voting against the historic tax cuts which were part of the legislative package.

Handlin can’t sell the gas tax litmus test to LD 13 Republicans because she has indicated to both MoreMonmouthMusing and Observer-PolitickerNJ that she wants O’Scanlon to run for reelection for Assembly, as her running mate, should she win the Senate nomination.  She wants to run for reelection to the Assembly if O’Scanlon is the Senate nominee.

O’Scanlon says he is all-in for Senate, that he will be a primary candidate and that he will retire from the legislature if he is not the nominee.

 Disclosure: Art Gallagher, publisher of MoreMonmouthMusings, is an adviser to Declan O’Scanlon


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