John P. Curley, who is in his ninth year as a member of the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, has launched an independent campaign to retain his seat on the county’s governing body.
There are two seats available on the board this year: a three-year term that will run from Jan. 1, 2019, through Dec. 31, 2021, and a one-year term that will run from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2019. Curley is one of three candidates seeking the three-year term.
On June 5, the last date on which individuals could file a nominating petition to run as an independent candidate in the November general election, Curley announced he is running under the banner “Fighting Corruption Together.”
Curley, who has previously run and won as a Republican, was not nominated by the Republican Party to run for re-election this year. He recently told Newspaper Media Group he changed his political affiliation from the Republican Party to unaffiliated.
“Since my days on the Red Bank Borough Council to sitting on the Board of Freeholders, I have been a consistent voice against corrupt practices,” Curley said. “From stopping a helipad that placed corporations over residents to cleansing Brookdale Community College of corruption, I have been on the right side of taxpayers.
“I will not be bullied out of my seat because party politicians do not believe in my cause, which has been and continues to be putting taxpayers first. Monmouth County residents showed with their signatures (on Curley’s nominating petition) that they are tired of party politics and want me to continue being their voice in Freehold.
“This freeholders seat has a rich, bipartisan history of individuals who put people first, from Ted Narozanick to Barbara McMorrow, and people recognize I am continuing their tradition. I look forward to serving the residents of Monmouth County for another three years,” Curley said.
Curley’s announcement sparked an immediate response from Monmouth County Republican Chairman Shaun Golden.
Golden, who is the elected county sheriff, said following an investigation regarding allegations of sexual harassment and subsequent censure from Curley’s fellow freeholders, the Monmouth County Republican Committee chose not to endorse Curley as the Republican candidate for freeholder, opting instead to endorse Susan M. Kiley.
“That John Curley has the audacity to seek re-election after disgracing himself, and his office, while costing Monmouth County taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees to defend against his litigation, shows he is tone deaf and only puts himself first, not the taxpayers of Monmouth County.
“I am shocked that when announcing his independent candidacy, Curley would invoke the names of former freeholders Ted Narozanick and Barbara McMorrow, two individuals who displayed class and integrity throughout their terms as freeholders,” Golden said. “What’s worse is that John Curley is bilking the taxpayers by enriching himself with premium health benefits paid for by the county for a part-time job. Monmouth County voters have had enough of Curley’s bad behavior.”
The June 5 primary election confirmed the nomination of the other candidates who will be seeking the freeholder seats in November.
The race for the three-year term will see Curley, Kiley and Democrat Amber Gesslein square off.
The race for the one-year term will see Republican Gerard P. Scharfenberger and Democrat Larry Luttrell face off. Scharfenberger was appointed to the Board of Freeholders earlier this year to fill a vacant seat.
Curley and Scharfenberger currently serve on the board with Republican freeholders Lillian G. Burry, Thomas A. Arnone and Patrick Impreveduto.